If you haven't heard of Clubhouse, it's a fairly new invite-only app (for now) that scraps text-based messaging for audio-only, and allows users to create rooms to bring together speakers in front of an audience, or for friends to just hang out. Elon Musk is a fan, and now everyone is trying to get a piece of the action.
Facebook was already revealed to be working on a Clubhouse clone, although the exact nature it would take wasn't clear, but a similar functionality has just debuted on Instagram, and you can try it now.
Live Rooms is the new feature that lets you go live with up to three people, rather than the one other person you could previously go live with. Facebook lays out the various things you can use the feature for in its blog (opens in new tab), including jam sessions, starting a talk show, and Clubhouse-style Q&As.
Live Rooms also has features geared towards monetisation for creators and businesses, with Live fundraisers, Shopping, and Badges, which resemble YouTube’s livestream SuperChat donations.
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Setting up Instagram Live Rooms
It's super easy top get started: just swipe left in-app and select the Live option from the tab at the bottom. You'll find it waaay over to the right. Tap the details / title button to add a title to your session, then hit Live so start broadcasting.
If you want to add guests, the accounts need to be following each other first of all. If you've checked that off the list, you can send invites to guests by tapping the profile icon at the bottom, and entering the handle of your choice. Guests will receive the invite, and can request or decline.
If you're watching someone else's Instagram Live and want to join the room, you can hit the request option at the bottom of the screen and if it's accepted, you'll be part of the Live Room.
And don't worry: any users that have been blocked by those in a Live Room won't be able to join, and anyone who's violated Community Guidelines and has Live access revoked also won't be able to join a Live Room. And you can still report and block comments, as well as applying comment filters, as a Live host.
It seems like a feature that can be utilised by creators, and offers an alternative platform for those interested in Clubhouse's format but haven't gotten an invite yet. Of course, if you prefer audio-only, and don't want to be limited to broadcasting with people you follow and who follow you, it's probably not going to fill that void.