Instagram Rolls Out Video Chat and New Camera Effects

Instagram Explore update

Apps & Software

While Instagram remained tightlipped on the development, it foreshadowed the rollout of video calling at the beginning of May.

It has been more than a month since Instagram announced a whole host of new features for the social platform, and now they are finally seeing the light of day. Having said that, the video chat feature on Instagram isn't that bad as we tested it out and it works way better than what we thought when the feature was announced.

What might surprise you: You'll be able to keep browsing Instagram while you chat with three of your friends - thanks to a nifty picture-in-picture mode built into the app. The video chat feature has started rolling out in the Instagram mobile apps. All you need to do is go into your inbox, tap on the camera icon, and the call will alert your friends' phones. Now it's actually rolling out to everyone on iOS and Android, allowing up to four friends to group video call together through Instagram Direct. It works for groups, too, so up to four people can be on one video call.

After teasing the new video chat feature during Facebook's F8 conference last month, the company has made a decision to go forth in dropping the feature as part of Instagram Direct. In order to update your video chat notifications, tap the gear icon on profile and find the new video chat control in Push Notifications. This includes a "For You" channel, which has a mix of posts tailored to your interests. Once you select one, the Explore page will populate a variety of content to see across the platform. With the new update, photos and videos will now be put into a "topic channel" where you can sort through posts that fit your specific interests. Users can swipe between the categories to browse, and then scroll up to view more posts from any they enjoy. You can mute the channels that don't interest you by long pressing on the channel and tapping on mute.

The Explore tab is now organized by topic into channels, with options such as art, sports, and fashion.

"Lastly, you'll now see the first batch of new camera effects designed by Ariana Grande, Buzzfeed, Liza Koshy, Baby Ariel and National Basketball Association in the Instagram camera". More effects are coming to other accounts soon. If you aren't a follower but you see an effect that you love, you can tap to try it on and add it to your camera.

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