Instagram Live Rooms introduces multi-user video chat — new audio features to follow

Instagram Live Rooms
(Image credit: Instagram)

Instagram announced the launch of some new features today, starting with Live Rooms. Live Rooms allows users to go live with up to four users at the same time. The ever-popular Instagram before allowed users to add one other person, but now, with Live Rooms, you can take the party live, which is a nice feature to have as we're still dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and must remain diligent about social distancing. 

The folks at Instagram stated that Live Room would allow creators even more ways to build their businesses and brands while also earning money.  The feature will allow users to purchase badges for the hosts and take advantage of other interactive features like Shopping and Live Fundraisers. 

If you would like to start a Live Room, here's how. 

  • Open the app, then swipe left
  • 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

The broadcast host can add up to three guests at once or one by one. Instagram stated, "that going live with multiple guests is a great way to increase reach, as guests’ followers can also be notified when they go live." Basically, use your friends to get famous! I like it! 

Instagram also announced that it is exploring other interactive tools, possibly offering moderator controls plus new audio features that will become available in the coming months.

Instagram adding new features could be in response to the recent explosion of Clubhouse onto the scene. Twitter is now testing out a new Spaces audio feature where users can have a group chat via audio. 

If you ask me, why not just use that thing we carry everywhere called a cell phone and start a conference call? Uploading audio conversations to a server we only hope is secure to have private conversations seems a little odd and could become a slippery slope. I guess phone calls have become passe in a text, meme, emoji, video world. Seriously though, I don't own a cell phone so that I can send voice messages. I own a cell phone, so I can respond via text, deflect and avoid. 

Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.