Instagram is expanding Live to accommodate more than two broadcasters in a single feed. The platform unveiled live rooms, which (like those on Twitch Squad Stream) will allow up to four people to live together. In its post, Instagram says the hope is to open up more opportunities for users by allowing people to host things like talk shows, jam sessions, or group tutorials with more than one friend.
The feature will start rolling out today (March 1) and is expected to hit all users during the week.
People have been using Instagram’s Live feature much more and in new ways since the pandemic lockdowns began in 2020. The government is using it to educate the public about COVID-19 guidelines, for example, and entertainment outfits use it to broadcast celebrity interviews. In the past year, the platform has performed live broadcasts visible on the Web to give Internet users the ability to watch them on larger screens and authorized users to register them on IGTV to make them available for viewing longer than 24 hours. In October, Instagram too expanded the maximum duration of a flow at four hours, compared to only one hour.
Increasing the number of people who can live together is another way for creators to reach their audiences. Instagram also expects Live Rooms to give them more opportunities to earn money, as the feature could potentially increase their numbers. Viewers can buy badges streamers during a Live for more visibility, after all, buy products from them or make a donation to their non-profit organizations.
Users can start broadcasting by swiping left and selecting the Live Camera option. They’ll then need to tap the Rooms icon and choose which guests to add – they can either broadcast with the people who have requested to go live with them, or send invitations to other people. The platform ensures that users blocked by any of the broadcasters in a Live will not be able to see it and that all features available to Live hosts, such as the ability to report and block comments, will also be available for Live Rooms hosts.