Instagram tests its Clubhouse clone and message encryption » Stuff


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Remember Clubhouse? The voice-based forum exploded in popularity in recent months, following which many social networks summarily began their own versions of the app. Most recently, Twitter announced Spaces, and now Instagram is testing its version of voice-based interactions through its messaging platform. 

Instagram has one major upper hand, and that’s Clubhouse’s limitation to only iOS devices. It already natively runs on most platforms, including web. If you think about it, it should be a go-to for many users when messaging their friends and starting conversations. We’re afraid it’s not reached that point yet. 

The recent tests will allow live streamers the ability to integrate audio and video into their Live Rooms — a feature Instagram rolled out recently. 

Wait… what, Instagram?

This means Insta will have three levels of Live-ception: first, we’ve got Instagram Live, which filters down to the new Live Rooms feature that allows more than one person in an Insta Live, and now it’s testing live audio rooms. If you’re not keeping up, we don’t blame you. 

The format is essentially a live audio stream that can only be joined through invite, and allows ‘viewers’ to sit in and snoop on the audio chat without it being weird. According to XDA Developers, testing of the feature is well underway at Facebook Inc, with preliminary screenshots showing a microphone icon beside the regular camcorder icon that usually appears during live video sessions. “… the placement of the microphone icon right next to the camera icon suggests the social network could integrate audio and video live rooms,” the report says.

While Instagram is chasing the audio-only live chat format, it’s also working to combine its three messaging services — something that’s faced some public backlash. But this has pushed developers across the three platforms to build end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in chats. 

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