Video calls are coming to Instagram
Instagram is rolling out a host of new features today, including video chat and a redesigned Explore page.
The Explore page will now feature buttons on the top of the page in a carousel, giving users the option to swipe through subjects like animals, photography, and architecture to see more posts about that particular topic.
The new update means you’ll be able to browse more content related to your interests. Instagram’s Explore page is traditionally a page where Instagram compiles posts it thinks you might like, and the page is designed to let users discover new content, people, or brands to follow. Explore has been rejigged several times in the past, including updates to show photos from people you actually know, bringing Stories onto the page, and making videos more prominent.
Instagram is also adding video chat for users, which is currently in a testing phase and will roll out globally “soon.” To start a video chat, just tap the new camera icon at the top of a direct messaging thread with the people you want to call.
To create a group conversation or direct messaging thread on Instagram, just tap on the paper airplane icon in the top right corner of your feed, tap the + sign, then select two or more people to start a group chat.
Video chat allows you to chat with one person or a small group, and you can minimize the video screen during the conversation and continue to chat while browsing Instagram. Video chat has been a rumored feature for the past few months, though Instagram hasn’t specified how many people can participate in a video call at a given time. Today’s update adds to a host of features that Instagram has been building to turn the app into a full-fledged messaging service, rather than the photo-sharing network it began as.
Instagram says video chat and the new Explore page will be rolling out to all users over the coming weeks.