Instagram Live takes Clubhouse with options to mute and mute video – TechCrunch
In addition to Facebook’s Clubhouse competitor built into Messenger Rooms and its experiments with a Clubhouse-style Q&A platform on the web, the company is now leveraging another of its biggest products to tackle the Clubhouse threat: Instagram Live. Today, Instagram announced the addition of new features that will allow users to mute their microphones and even turn off their video while using Instagram Live.
Instagram explains that these new features will give hosts more flexibility during their live streaming experiences, as they can reduce the pressure to watch or sound a certain way while streaming live. While this may be true, the reality is that Facebook is simply taking another page out of the Clubhouse playbook by allowing for a “video off” experience that encourages more casual conversations.
When people don’t have to worry about how they look, they’ll often be more inclined to engage in voice chat. Plus, being audio-only allows creators to engage with their community while multitasking – maybe they’re doing housework or moving around, and can’t sit and look directly at the camera. To date, this has been one of the advantages of using Clubhouse over live video chat. You can participate in the Clubhouse voice chat forums without having to give your full attention to the conversation or worry about background noise.
At this time, hosts won’t be able to turn video on or off or mute others in the livestream, but Instagram tells us it’s working to bring more of these types of capabilities to the broadcaster and plans to deploy them soon.
Instagram notes that it tested the new features publicly earlier this week during an Instagram Live between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram Director Adam Mosseri.
This isn’t the first feature Instagram has added in recent weeks to draw the creative community to its platform instead of Clubhouse or other competitors. In March, Instagram rolled out the ability for creators to host live rooms that allow up to four people to stream at the same time. The rooms were intended to appeal to creators who wanted to host live talk shows, extended Q&A and more – all of which are often found on Clubhouse. It also added the ability for fans to purchase badges to support hosts, to meet the needs of professional creators looking to monetize their reach.
Although Instagram’s parent company Facebook already has a more direct Clubhouse clone in development with Live Audio Rooms on Facebook and Messenger, the company said it didn’t expect it to go into testing. before this summer. And it will first be accessible to groups and public figures, not to the general public.
New Instagram Live features, meanwhile, are rolling out to Instagram’s global audience on iOS and Android starting today.