Instagram is paving the way for other social media apps with feature upgrades to the mobile application. Today, the company has begun rolling out an app update containing features discussed in a prior blog post. If you can remember, Video Chat is the main one, and there are a handful of smaller upgrades part of the update as well.
The latest update for Instagram is rolling out as we speak on Android and iOS after a bit of a delay getting the user experience prepared. The most notable feature is the addition of video chat in Instagram Direct. Users can open a direct thread and have a one-one conversation or participate in a group chat. It works cross-platform through the app on phones and tablets, and users aren’t limited by talk time. Look for the camera icon to send a call.
During calls, users are able to play around with various functions or elect to minimize the call to interact with other parts of the Instagram app simultaneously. With these features, Instagram is taking on other apps with video chat functionality. As you can imagine, the video chat functionality is quite similar to Facebook Messenger. We continue to see the two services add features from one other. But what’s unique in Instagram is the ability of a few extra people to join a call while it’s in session and leave without ending the call for everybody. Sure there are exceptions so only certain people can join your call. Calls you can join will appear as Group Threads and you’ll see when they’re active.
Other new features are coming to Instagram in this update such as topic channels. Topic Channels can be accessed from the navigation bar under the Explore tab and then the “For You” section. Do these names ring a bell? As its name implies, topic channels are for exploring in-depth information based on a particular interest. You can also mute channels if you don’t want to see posts from it. Lastly, there are some new camera effects in the Instagram camera to spice up the update. The selection continues to grow with new and trendy options, now all we want are those IGTV features!
Download the app at the below link in brackets or update your existing app through the Play Store. Let us know if you see the changes on your device and leave any thoughts in the comment section.