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Instagram Announces New Live Rooms Feature

With the hype around Clubhouse, and continued interest in podcasting, could Instagram Live Rooms be the next step in the growth of audio content?

Instagram users have previously been able to live broadcast on the app, inviting one other user to join. The new Live Rooms feature allows up to four people to partake in a live broadcast. 

In Instagram’s blog post announcing the feature, they said; “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.”

Users will also have the opportunity to monetise their Live Rooms broadcasts, as viewers will be able to purchase badges to show their love, as well as other interactive features such as shopping and fundraisers.   

Connecting virtually during the pandemic

During the pandemic, Instagram noticed how content creators were utilising the live broadcast feature in unique ways. Fitness instructors have hosted live workouts, beauty bloggers are doing live tutorials, and activists are speaking live about the latest news. 

Recent launches of the apps Clubhouse and Stereo, both allowing groups of people to speak freely and invite input from their listeners, have encouraged social media users to engage in this new ‘live podcast’ style of content. Being able to join in on live conversations hosted by our friends or favourite creators allows us to feel connected and up to date with people who have similar interests, albeit virtually. 

Similar to Clubhouse, which is currently invite-only, Instagram Live Rooms will allow users to request to join a room, therefore allowing them the opportunity to speak. The new Instagram feature does differ from Clubhouse and Stereo which are audio-only, in the fact that Instagram Live requires people to be on-camera. Although some users feel more at ease not showing their face on the internet, the opportunity to use video could broaden content opportunities for users on Live Rooms. 

As audio platforms grow and develop, it will be interesting to discover how brands use the channels to engage with their audience and customers. New opportunities allow creators and users to interact on a personal level, in real-time.

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