Instagram – owned by Facebook – has announced new features that allow users to mute their microphones and even stop video playback while using Instagram Live.
In addition to Facebook’s Clubhouse competitor built inside Messenger rooms and its experiences with the Clubhouse-like web question-and-answer platform, the company is now leveraging one of its biggest products – Instagram Live – to counter the Clubhouse threat.
Instagram explains that these new features give hosts more flexibility during their live broadcast experiences, as they can reduce the pressure to appear a certain way during a live broadcast.
The platform is trying to enable a video pause experience that encourages more conversations, and when people don’t have to worry about their looks, they will often be more likely to join the voice chat.
In addition, audio only allows content creators to interact with their community while multitasking, as they perform chores or commute and cannot sit and stare at the camera directly.
This was one of the advantages of using Clubhouse versus live video chat, as you can participate in clubhouse voice chat rooms without always having to give the conversation your full attention or worry about background noise.
Hosts will not be able at the moment to play or stop the video or mute others in the live broadcast, but Instagram has made it clear that it is working to offer more of these types of capabilities to the broadcaster, and expects to launch them soon.
And Instagram reports that it has publicly tested the new features earlier this week during Live chat Via Instagram Live between the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and the President of Instagram, Adam Mosseri.
It is noteworthy that this is not the first feature that Instagram has added in recent weeks to attract the creator community to its platform rather than Clubhouse or other competitors.
In March, the platform launched an option for creators to host Live Rooms that allow up to four people to broadcast simultaneously.
The purpose of the Live Rooms is to attract content creators who want to host live talk shows and extended questions and answers, which are features within the Clubhouse.
It has also added the ability to purchase badges to support hosts, in order to cater to professional creators looking to monetize their reach.
Although Facebook has a more direct version of the Clubhouse under development with Live Audio Rooms, it said: It does not expect it to be released for testing until this summer, and it will be available first to groups and public figures, not to the wider audience.
Meanwhile, new Instagram Live features are rolling out to the global audience of the Instagram platform across Android and iOS starting today.