New Instagram Tool Enables Multiple Livestream Participants

Facebook’s Instagram is rolling out Live Rooms, a tool that allows a video creator to go Live with up to three participants. 

Until now, Instagram users could include only one other livestream participant.

Live Rooms began rolling out globally Monday and will be available to all with a week.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago, “special moments have happened on Live, including informational talks about science and COVID-19 guidelines, interviews with celebrities and record-breaking rap battles,” Instagram wrote in its blog. “Creators of all kinds — from fitness instructors to musicians, beauty bloggers, chefs and activists, all relied on Live to create moments and bring people together to reach their communities in creative ways…

“We hope that doubling up on Live will open up more creative opportunities — 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.”

The social platforms are eager to compete with Zoom and other video-conferencing apps and give creators new ways to monetize video. Last year, Facebook Messenger introduced its own live video sharing tool, Rooms.

Some media and brands have reported that having the ability to have open, face-to-face conversations on Instagram Live allowed for engagement and connection with millions, and “going live with multiple guests is a great way to increase your reach, as guests’ followers can also be notified,” Instagram points out.

With Instagram livestreaming, including Live Rooms, viewers can buy badges that allow the hosts to earn tips for broadcasts, and creators can sell products through the Shopping feature or host live fundraisers. 

Instagram says more interactive tools, such as offering moderator controls and audio features, will be available in the coming months. 

Live Rooms incorporates safety features including blocking of participation and comments of anyone who has been blocked by any of the active participants, as well as the ability to report and block comments and apply comment filters.

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