WhatsApp gets group video calls, video chat coming to Instagram

Muriel Hammond
May 2, 2018

"Now that it's easier to share straight to Instagram Stories, we can't wait to see what the GoPro community will post". There were reports that the service might add a video chat feature to the app and that's precisely what it has announced today.

In addition to video chat, users will now also be able to post content from apps like Spotify and GoPro directly to Instagram Stories. Some phones have a slow-motion video mode integrated into the camera already, but Instagram may bring the ability to all phones - or at least those with compatible software. Instagram's announcement says "creative effects from your favorite accounts are coming soon, including Ariana Grande, Baby Ariel, Liza Koshy, Vogue, and Buzzfeed", but doesn't give a specific launch date just yet. You can launch a video call just by tapping the new camera icon on the top of a thread. Users can chat one-on-one with another user or with a small group and they can keep the conversation going for as long as they want.

Notably, users will be able to minimize the video and continue video chatting while using Instagram simultaneously.

Facebook is bringing group video chat to Snapchat and Whatsapp, and is also bringing Snapchat-style video filters to Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

Instagram is also apparently looking at adding a slow-mo recording feature to Stories.

Explore is still personalized for you, but the content is now organized into topic channels so you can browse across your interests and go deeper on any area you'd like.

Video chat is testing now and will roll out globally soon. This feature, launching in closed beta, helps people get valuable, instant feedback about purchases, and more.

There's also a new Explore tab in the app. It's not clear if you will be able to leave the app and still chat, although that seems unlikely. The song, album, or playlist you've chosen will then be presented with a sticker that you can move, resize, and rotate.

What's more, the tool will show a "deep link" to the song so that when someone shares a song, it will play automatically from the Instagram story.

More apps will soon support the feature as well.

Instagram's tests also extends to a new Explore feed.

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