Instagram introduces new ‘Live Rooms’ as a way to broadcast with up to four people

Instagram has introduced a new feature that will make it more appealing to those who want a video version of the popular live podcasting app, Clubhouse. It’s called Live Rooms, and it’s built to allow up to four people to go live as a sort of broadcasted FaceTime call.

The feature doubles the amount of people you can usually have on a single Instagram Live and will, to Instagram’s desire, hopefully encourage people to “start a talk show, host a jam session or co-create with other artists, host more engaging Q&As or tutorials with your following, or just hang out with more of your friends.” So in case it wasn’t obvious, Instagram definitely wants to steal some attention from Clubhouse.

Of course, it’s hard to compete with what Clubhouse has going right now. You don’t need to be in any presentable way to go live, and you don’t need to worry about whether your setting looks good on video. All you need to do is talk to your phone. It’s the opposite for Instagram’s new feature since it requires your camera be on to work.

Clubhouse also lets you have up to 10 people at once while on air, which I’d imagine would be chaotic for video chats. That being said, if Instagram wants to compete with Clubhouse (and it seems to be that way), they’ll have to expand on this feature in the future.

According to the company, Live Rooms won’t be viewable to people who hosts have blocked, nor will they be available to users who have gone against community guidelines. You’ll also be able to report and block comments, and apply comment filters if you’re a host. Instagram provides some instructions on how to start a Live Room in its blog post.

How it Works

To start a Live Room— swipe left and pick the Live camera option. Then, add a title and tap the Rooms icon to add your guests. You’ll see people who have requested to go live with you, and you can also search for a guest to add. When you start a Live Room, you’ll remain at the top of the screen when you add guests. As a broadcaster, you can add up to three guests at once or one by one (for example, you could start with two guests, and add a surprise guest as the third participant later! 🥳) Going live with multiple guests is a great way to increase your reach, as guests’ followers can also be notified.

Instagram says Live Rooms are rolling out globally, so it should be available on both iOS and Android in a matter of time.