This new feature is currently being rolled out, as it becomes available our online safety experts will provide updates on the new function.
Instagram is rolling out a new feature called ‘Live Rooms’, which will allow users to ‘go live’ and broadcast with up to 3 other people to their audience. This new feature is currently being rolled out, so many users may not yet have access to it.
This move increases the number of users able to collaborate as they engage an audience. Ithas largely been fuelled by boththe reliance on live-streaming to connect during the pandemic, and the platform’s desire to facilitate more creative opportunities.
Instagram offers users the following safety measures while using Live Rooms:
If a user has been blocked by any of the Live Room participants, they will not be able to join the livestream.
Instagram will revoke access to Live Rooms if a user violates any of the companies Community Guidelines.
During livestreams, users can report and block comments and use comment filters to avoid any profanity.
Instagram has said that they will introduce more moderator controls in the coming months.
What should you be aware of?
As with all features of social media platforms, there can be significant risks for children and young people:
Users can buy ‘badges’ in Live Rooms to support their favourite creators (1 per person). Users who purchase a badge get an icon beside their name, which makesthem more visible in the comments section of a Live Room and unlocks special features.Badges cost up to $4.99 (£3.58). Creators mayencouragetheir followers into purchasing badgesor contributing to fundraising activities
Children and young people who are inspired to become social media influencers may feel pressured to do ‘whatever it takes’ to gain more followers, such as Live Streaming in less clothing or sharing personal information for ‘authentic’ interactions with strangers/fans
Although Instagram has offered several safety and moderation mechanisms, online bullies may still target users on Live Rooms, by screenshotting or writing abusive messages
The risk of disclosing personal information is amplified when using any live featuresdue to the online disinhibition effect and increased pressure from fans where users make ‘in the moment’ decisions
Children may spend increased periods of time online using Live Rooms to potentially‘go viral’
Live Rooms require people to be on-camera, this may pressurise or influenceyoung people to conformto a particular lookor toconstruct an environment aimed at pleasingand increasingtheir audience.