Instagram is introducing a new feature today that will allow users to run joint live streams with three other people, letting you broadcast the group video chat for the world to see.
Called Live Rooms, the feature ups the number of accounts that can join an IG Live from two to four. So it’s kind of like Zoom, but publicly viewable and restricted to four participants.
“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,” said Instagram in their blog post.
Starting a Live Room is much the same as starting a Live — simply swipe left, add a title, then tap the Rooms icons to add other users. You don’t have to add them all at the beginning or all at once though, so you could theoretically go full talk show host and unexpectedly introduce someone’s ex in the middle of a conversation.
Of all the possible uses for a multi-user Instagram Livestream, this seems like it has the most potential to get interesting.
Unfortunately, Live Rooms does have a few restrictions preventing you from being an agent of chaos and ruining people’s lives. Anyone who has been blocked by one of the participants in a Live won’t be able to join it, and if you’ve been banned from Live for violating Community Guidelines you also can’t join any Live Room at all. Hosts will also be able to report and block comments as well as apply comment filters, with Instagram looking at adding more moderation tools in the next few months.
Features such as Shopping and Live Fundraisers will be available in Live Rooms, and viewers will be able to buy the very Twitch-like Live badges introduced last year for the host. This is basically like tipping the host, allowing you to make a little cash off your amateur Ricki Lake.
Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri initially teased the reveal of Live Room on Sunday, tweeting that “it’s a feature that has been requested for a while now.” Fingers crossed that the ability to delete other people’s posts will be next.