Instagram might be working on Clubhouse competitor and end-to-end encryption

    The Facebook-owned service is reportedly working on Audio Rooms, a competitor to Twitter's new Spaces feature and the wildly popular Clubhouse app. 
    By HT TECH
    | Updated on Mar 08 2021, 12:30 AM IST
    Instagram may soon have a Clubhouse competitor.
    Instagram may soon have a Clubhouse competitor. (Unsplash)
    Instagram may soon have a Clubhouse competitor.
    Instagram may soon have a Clubhouse competitor. (Unsplash)

    Clubhouse may have taken the world by storm over the past year, but its rivals are quickly working on competing services, like Twitter’s Spaces and Fireside. According to a leaked image posted on Twitter, Instagram is reportedly working on a new ‘Audio Rooms’ feature.

    Read more: Instagram working on content monetisation, keyword-based DM blocking

    The image-sharing platform’s rumoured feature was first spotted on Twitter after mobile developer and leaker Alessandro Paluzzi posted two screenshots in a tweet earlier today. The features were likely enabled via reverse engineering the app to enable hidden strings, which suggests the feature is still at an early stage.

    In Paluzzi’s first screenshot, the Direct Messages section of the Instagram app shows a third Microphone icon to the left of the Compose and Video Call buttons at the top left of the app. The second screenshot shows a basic “Loading..” message next to his user profile on the bottom of the screen and a microphone icon and a cross symbol, presumably to mute and unmute yourself and exit the Audio Room.

    Also read: How to use Vanish Mode on Instagram and Facebook Messenger

    However, it looks like Audio Rooms arent the only feature Instagram seems to be working on. Paluzzi later tweeted another image that indicates the Facebook-owned app could be working on end-to-end encryption for some of its chats. The feature will probably show up when users try to start a new chat and is depicted by a label “Start end-to-end encrypted chat” above the contact’s name.

    The arrival of end-to-end encryption on Instagram is the next step in Facebook’s plans to bring its chat services together. The move was previously announced by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg years ago when he stated that the company was planning on making its chat services interoperable.

    The company plans to do this b merging the chat services ‘backend’ of Instagram DMs, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Messenger to be interoperable so users on one service could talk to each other. However, the development of end-to-end encryption could still be in its early stages and it is currently unknown when it will eventually roll out.

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    First Published Date: 07 Mar, 03:10 PM IST
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