At F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference last month, the social media giant announced that it is bringing group video chat feature to Instagram. Today, the company has started rolling out ability to do video calls to users around the world.
Now, you can start video call with anyone you are in direct convertion with by tapping the camera icon in the top right corner. The video conversation will work even with groups in your direct conversation. The ability to make or receive video calls from direct conversation will work till the time neither of you have blocked the other. The group video calling supports a maximum of five participants and it adjusts automatically as more people join the video conference.
The interesting feature here is that you can minimize the video call in progress and continue to scroll through the rest of the app. While video calling has the potential to bring people together, Instagram is not giving up on its core feature of allowing users to scroll through photos and like or share them. With the arrival of video calling feature on the photo-sharing network, Facebook now lets users make video calls through Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Alongside the release of video calling feature, Instagram has started roll out of the revamped Explore tab. The new Explore retains the tiled interface but now shows topic-based interests at the top that includes sports, movies and a ‘For You’ section curated specifically based on your interest.
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The update being rolled out also brings new camera effects to Instagram Stories. There are now new camera effects designed by Ariana Grande, Buzzfeed, Liza Koshy and the NBA. Instagram says the new camera effect as well as video calling feature should be available on Android and iOS starting today. The new set of features further strengthen Instagram’s position in the social universe and a Bloomberg report claims the service could be valued at $100 billion.