This week in social media news, Instagram debuts a new ‘Live Rooms’ feature and Pinterest rolls out a new ‘Pinterest Shop’ collection and fund to support small, female-owned businesses for International Women’s Day.

Instagram Rolls Out Live Rooms Feature For Live

Instagram has launched a new Live feature called Live Rooms, giving users the ability to go live on the platform with up to three people at a time.

Why it matters: The pandemic led to a surge in Instagram Live usage as an alternative to FaceTime. This new feature will allow creators to explore more creative avenues, such as hosting talk shows, jam sessions and tutorials. It will also give business-savvy users the ability to increase reach, grow ventures and earn more money when followers purchase badges, shop items or donate to fundraisers.

The details: To start a Live Room, users can add a title then tap the Rooms icon to add guests—either from a list of people requesting to be added or by searching for them. To prevent intruders, Instagram has made it so that users with revoked access or those that have been blocked by any of the active participants in the Live Room can’t join the session.

Pinterest Empowers Women Through New Pinterest Shop Collection, Fund

Pinterest is celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8 with a new Pinterest Shop collection comprising over 25 female-founded small businesses and products made by women. It also launched a fund to help female business owners succeed.

Why it matters: Research shows that women have been disproportionately impacted by the economic fallout from COVID. In December 2020, they accounted for 100 percent of US jobs lost.

The details: With women turning to Pinterest to navigate recent changes, search trends point to the need for support now more than ever. Pinterest says that searches for “support small business” increased 4.5 times, AND searches for “women supporting women” increased by twofold. 

In addition, Pinterest has committed to matching donations from employees to nonprofits empowering women, like the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Global Fund for Women.