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Instagram lets four people go live at the same time with Live Rooms

Instagram launches Live Rooms, a feature that allows four people to live stream at the same time. Previously, users could only add one other user to a live stream. Live Rooms are available globally to everyone starting 1 March 2020.

When users want to start a Live Room, they must first start a live stream. Then they can invite up to three people to participate in the live stream. Followers can also send a request to join the live room that is ongoing if not full already.

Instagram’s blog post today says it hopes the feature encourages people to start a “talk show or a podcast,” host a “jam session,” or collaborate with other creators. The ability to add more guests to a livestream can also help a creator grow their follower base, as all the guests’ followers are notified about the Live Room, in addition to your own.

How Instagram Live Rooms work

To start a Live Room:

  • Open the latest version of the Instagram mobile app.

  • Swipe left and pick the Live camera option.

  • Add a title and tap the Rooms icon to add your guests.

  • You will see people who have requested to go live with you.

  • You can also search for a guest to add.

  • As a broadcaster, you can add up to three guests at once or one by one.

  • When you start a Live Room, you will remain at the top of the screen.

People who are blocked by any of the active participants in the Live Room will not be able to join the Live Room. Also, Instagram said features that are currently available to Live hosts, like the ability to report and block comments, will also be available to hosts of Live Rooms.

While Instagram Live has supported two-person streaming for years, the company says it was never a very popular feature. Then the pandemic arrived, and that changed dramatically. Last February and March, the company says it saw 70 percent more viewership on Instagram Live than in previous months.

“The number one most requested feature was, ‘Can I go live with multiple people?’” says Kristin George, Instagram’s director of product for creators. With Live Rooms, anyone can start a live broadcast and then add up to three guests, who will receive a push notification inviting them to join. Each person appears in their own square, like a video call, but with the usual trappings of an Instagram stream: Live comments appear onscreen, creators can use augmented reality filters, and viewers can pay money in the form of “badges,” Instagram’s version of a digital tip jar. When building the function, George says four people seemed to like the maximum before rooms felt too crowded, but it is possible that number will increase in the future.

Instagram says Live Rooms are rolling out now to both iOS and Android to all global markets. The company expects the rollout to reach 100% of its user base within the week.




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