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(Pocket-lint) - Instagram is launching a new feature, called Live Rooms, which is designed to get more people to go live at once. Here's how it works.

What are Instagram Live Rooms?

Live Rooms are a new Instagram feature that allows you as well as up to three other people to video chat in a live broadcast, compared to the previous limit of two. Instagram indicated it hoped people would use Live Rooms to start a “talk show or a podcast" or host a “jam session". Either way, going live with more people could attract larger audiences, as the followers of everyone participating will see the live room and may be notified about it.

Keep in mind Instagram is launching Live Rooms at a time when Clubhouse - an invite-only, audio-only chat room service - has become an overnight hit and is the latest must-have social app. It lets more than 10 people speak at once, though Clubhouse rooms can reach up to 8,000 people before they’re full. Instagram Live Rooms only allow a total of four to speak at once, but we could see the feature expanding to allow more than 10 people.

Note that, unlike Clubhouse, Instagram Live requires people to be on-camera.

How Instagram Live Rooms work

To start a Live Room:

  1. Open the latest version of the Instagram mobile app.
  2. Swipe left and pick the Live camera option.
  3. Add a title and tap the Rooms icon to add your guests.
  4. You’ll 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.
  5. When you start a Live Room, you’ll remain at the top of the screen.

Note: 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.

Who can use Instagram Live Rooms?

Live Rooms are available globally to everyone starting 1 March 2020.

Want to know more?

Check out Instagram's blog post or support page for more details.

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Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 1 March 2021.