- Instagram and Instagram Direct APK files hint that voice and video calling will be added in a future update.
- Report from January suggested the feature could debut in the coming months.
- Rumors of call support comes as Instagram’s rival Snapchat struggles with a widespread user backlash.
Instagram could be about to expand its feature list yet again with the addition of voice and video calling. Rumors began swirling that the photo-sharing app could add call functionality to its chat system earlier this year, and now files within the APK have all-but-confirmed that it is on the way.
Icons with filenames like “action_call” and “video_call” were first spotted by a TechCrunch reader, which hints that Instagram is testing the feature internally before a public release. References to voice and video calls have also been discovered in the standalone Direct app which launched late last year.
When asked for comment by the publication an Instagram spokesperson declined to comment. A WABetaInfo report back in January claimed that the feature would be rolled out for Android and iOS devices in the coming months.
It’s hard not to see the potential arrival of voice and video calling for Instagram as yet another move by Facebook to further pile the pressure on its close rival, Snapchat. The latter has offered video calling for several years now, but with its recent major redesign upsetting a sizable portion of its user-base, now would be a perfect time for Instagram to capitalize with an expanded feature set.
Facebook already offers calling services through Messenger and WhatsApp, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see it added to Instagram as well.
What do you think? Is three Facebook-owned apps with calling options one too many, or is this a smart expansion for Instagram? Let us know in the comments.