Instagram video chat and new AR camera effects available today

Doris Richards
June 27, 2018

The social media giant's latest assault on video-oriented platforms such as Snapchat and FaceTime has launched. With this new update, Instagram becomes the third platform from Facebook to offer video calling feature after Facebook and WhatsApp. Out of the features announced back then, Instagram is now rolling out Video Chat, topic channels in Explore (which was live for some users last week) and new camera effects for Instagram Stories. This strategy is probably behind the fact that the average US user went from spending 29 minutes per day on Instagram in September of past year to 55 minutes today, according to a SimilarWeb report for TechCrunch.

First up, is the Video Chat feature in Instagram Direct.

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. You can have a face-to-face chat with a single individual, or participate in a group chat.


One of Instagram's main selling points for using Video Chat is that you can now video call both Android and iOS users without the need for a phone number.

While on the video chat, you can minimize the video and multitask on Instagram, sending messages and photos in Direct, browsing your feed, posting a story and more. The company's announcement also came with the promise of video chats and group video chats, which are also expected to rollout in the near future. You can video chat with up to four people at a time, and the video will expand as more friends join. Also, if there is an active video chat in a group thread, the camera icon will turn blue. 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. When you're ready to leave the video chat, tap the red phone icon at the bottom.

Back in May, we found evidence that Instagram would soon bring video calling to its mobile app. Previously, Explore's 200 million daily users just saw a random mish-mash of popular content related to their interests, with just a single "Videos You Might Like" section separated. There is an option to mute a particular contact. To update your video chat notifications, tap the gear icon on profile and find the new video chat control in Push Notifications. New Camera Effects 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. But instead of just showing up in everyone's app, you will only see the new effects if you follow the account that created them.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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