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Instagram launches multiple user broadcasts with Live Rooms

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

3 Mar 2021

Instagram this week launched Live Rooms, a livestream broadcast that can feature up to four users simultaneously streaming together in virtual ‘rooms.’ The focus on audiovisual comes as Clubhouse, the latest social media craze, based on group broadcasting, is taking the world by storm.

While the fashion industry has been slow to embrace Clubhouse, the audio chat app has been a hotbed for influencers and young consumers. The app offers a new way of interacting beyond short form video (TikTok) and imagery and up to now single livestream on Instagram. A more intimate form of communication, the live audio feature is comparable to a dining room conversation rather than scrolling through a feed.

A more intimate form of communication

“We hope this feature will pave the way for new forms of creativity, such as talk shows, jam sessions between musicians, more engaging Q&A sessions, interactive tutorials for communities or simply a way to have fun with more friends,” Instagram parent Facebook said in a statement.

The move is not only a response to Clubhouse, but also a response to rediscovering authentic, non-edited content. In addition Instagram’s feed, its Live Rooms will be a vehicle for voice video messages through live broadcasts and Reels, a service launched last summer which, in the wake of Tik Tok, allows users to create short 15-second videos that can be edited and accompanied by soundtracks. The photos, often shared after having been refined with filters and meticulous changes, are less immediate and spontaneous than live conversations that sometimes reach thousands of followers and, a function currently absent in the Clubhouse, can also be used at the end of the talk as if they were podcasts, another medium that is increasingly in vogue among fashion enthusiasts and beyond.

“Live Rooms is also an opportunity to create and grow your business and make profits,” Instagram said in its statement. The social network had recently introduced the possibility for users to support their favourite creators with the purchase of badges during live broadcasts. Through Live Rooms it is possible to purchase badges and take advantage of other interactive functions during the live broadcast, such as Shopping and Fundraising. Live broadcasts could facilitate chats between fashion and beauty influencers, fitness experts, celebrities, cooks or simply users.

In current times the need for social connection is stronger than ever, which is why Instagram has been swift to respond to why audio is the perfect platform. Social media today can be noisy, combative, and anxiety-inducing, especially when the focus is imagery at face value.

Images: Pexels Live Stream; Instagram Live Rooms