Facebook-owned Instagram has started to roll out features which were announced back at Facebook F8 Developers Conference. From today, users will now be able to participate in a video chat through Instagram Direct. Users can have a one-on-one individual chat and also have the option to participate in a group chat. Also, the video chats would not require any phone numbers, users can participate in video chat as long as they have an active Direct thread. It also won’t matter if the users have an iOS or Android powered device when using the video chat feature.
To start a video chat, users will have to first swipe to the Direct inbox and open any existing or new message thread. Once there, tapping on the new camera icon will send a ring to the user at the other end. During the video chat, users can choose to minimize the picture to multitask on the Instagram app and use other parts of the app like sending messages, posting a story or scanning the feed.
The video chat option also allows users to converse with up to four people at a given time. There is also an option to join an active group video chat. The camera icon will turn blue once the option to join an active video chat in a group is available, a simple tap on the icon will enable users to be a part of the group video chat. If users wish to exit the video chat, tapping the red phone icon at the bottom of the screen will end the chat for the respective user.
Instagram has also rolled out topic channels to the Explore tab. Once users open the tab, there will be a tray of topic channels including one called “For You” which will pick and choose posts according to the user’s interest. Other channels like Art, Sports, Beauty, Animals and others will be available as well. Channels can be muted by long pressing on the channel icon and tapping on mute.
There has also been an introduction of new camera effects for Instagram camera which have been designed by the likes of Ariana Grande, Liza Koshy, Baby Ariel, Buzzfeed and NBA. If users are following any of the said accounts, they can tap on the face icon in the bottom right-hand corner to have a look. Instagram has also said that there will be more camera effects in the future.
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