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Instagram announces video chat feature, a month after Snapchat
- Instagram today announced that it would release an Instagram video chat feature.
- Instagram video chat will allow one-on-one conversations as well as group chats.
- The company didn’t give an exact date for the rollout of the new feature, but testing is going on right now.
After Instagram lifted Snapchat stories and made them better and more popular, the running joke is that anything Snapchat does, Instagram is likely to follow.
The trend seems to be holding up nicely, as Instagram announced today that it is testing out a new video chat feature. This announcement comes about a month after Snapchat revealed a video chat feature of its own. Not one to be outdone, WhatsApp also announced a group video chat feature is on the way, via Android Central.
The Instagram video chat feature is in a testing phase for now, with a global rollout coming soon.
According to Instagram, users will be able to engage in both one-on-one video chats as well as “a small group” (it didn’t reveal how big that group could be). To start a video chat, you will tap a new camera icon that will appear at the top of a direct conversation thread:
Instagram says you will also be able to minimize the video chat and browse through Instagram while the chat is running. It’s not clear if you will be able to leave the app and still chat, although that seems unlikely.
In other Instagram news, the company is also making it easier for you to share content from other apps. Right now, you can share what you’re listening to on Spotify to your Instagram story with just a few taps; you don’t even need to connect your Instagram account to Spotify to make it work. You can also share GoPro videos from the GoPro app to Instagram in a similar fashion.
Instagram is also allowing third-parties to design Instagram filters, stickers, and text styles. It already has partnerships with major brands and celebrities like Ariana Grande, Lizy Kopshy, Vogue, and Buzzfeed. If you see a new sticker or filter, you can hit “Try it on,” and you’ll be able to test it out.
Finally, the Explore section of the Instagram app is getting a refresh with some AI power thrown in, via TechCrunch. Now, when you visit the Explore page, you’ll be presented with a list of AI-discovered topics at the top of the feed that you are probably interested in. You can then tap on one of those topics to see related content. For example, if you follow a lot of cat Instagram profiles, there might be an Animals section on the Explore page. Hitting that would take you to a feed of other animal-related accounts and hashtags.
You can read all about the current and upcoming new Instagram features by visiting the company’s press site.