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Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, and the two platforms have been getting more crossover features ever since. Instagram “Rooms” is an extension of the Facebook Messenger feature with the same name, but there’s a little more to it than that.

What Are Rooms in Instagram?

In short, Instagram Rooms—or Instagram Messenger Rooms—is the same feature that can be found on Facebook. It’s a video calling platform, but slightly different than the typical video calling or conferencing.

What makes “Rooms” different is they’re persistent. Rather than creating a one-off meeting or calling someone directly, the rooms live on. Participants can hop in whenever they want, like a virtual hang-out space. The host is not required to be there after creating the room.

RELATED: How to Set Up a Facebook Messenger Rooms Video Call

Facebook Is Optional

The other thing that makes Rooms unique is the number of participants and how they can join. Facebook/Instagram Rooms can have up to 50 participants, but everyone doesn’t have to be there at the same time.

More importantly, participants don’t even need to have an Instagram or Facebook account. The host can create an invite link and people can join from any device. However, those who don’t have Instagram or Facebook can only join if the host is also there.

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How to Use Instagram Rooms

Instagram Rooms can be found in the Direct Message area. Open the Instagram app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device and tap the messenger icon in the top right.

Go to the “Rooms” tab or tap the video icon in the top corner.

Go to the "Rooms" tab.

Now select “Create a Room.”

Select "Create a Room."

The shareable link is at the top of the screen. Tap “Share Link” to send the link with another app.

Share the Room link.

Under that, you can invite friends from Instagram and Facebook by tapping “Invite.”

Invite friends from Instagram and Facebook.

Once you’ve invited everyone, you can tap “Join Room” to get in.

Tap "Join Room."

As mentioned earlier, Rooms stick around until you delete them. So you and anyone else invited can always jump back in from the “Rooms” tab.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. Instagram Rooms are simply Facebook Messenger Rooms… but from Instagram. Facebook is bringing these two platforms more closely together—for example, you can message a Facebook friend from Instagram—and this is another part of that.

RELATED: How to Message a Facebook Friend From Instagram

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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