Technology

Instagram Video Chat Feature Rolling Out To Select Users

Instagram video chat
ElisaRiva / Pixabay

Facebook has started introducing a number of new features to the Instagram app that were originally announced at the F8 developer conference earlier this year. It seems as if Instagram video chat is coming soon, following hot on the tail of Instagram TV.

A New Direction For Instagram

Facebook remains the dominant force in the social media industry with over 1.2 billion users worldwide. There’s no doubt that they will continue to be a major presence in the online arena for years to come, but data is showing that younger people are migrating away from Facebook and onto other social media apps – one of those being Instagram.

With Facebook starting to lose some of its appeal among the younger generation – a market that is critical to capture for success as a social media network – Facebook is continuing to diversify by beefing up the Instagram app which they acquired a couple of years back. The $100 billion valuation of Instagram asserts that the app is definitely a force to be reckoned with as is, and the rapid introduction of new features should continue to make it one of the top picks for social media mavens.

The biggest change that the app saw recently was the introduction of IGTV – a platform that allows users to create longer videos and upload them for their followers. Previously, users on the app were limited to extremely short videos that severely limited the type of content that they were able to create. Perhaps in an effort to compete with the video giant YouTube, Instagram is lifting restrictions with IGTV in order to promote longforrm content.

IGTV is just the beginning of some sweeping changes for Instagram, however, and the introduction of Instagram video chat is coming soon.

Instagram Video Chat

The new Instagram video chat feature is being rolled out along with custom AR filters and a partial app redesign to a number of users. It’s a lot to contend with at once, but change is exciting in this case. While there’s always the possibility that a re-design will be near-universally panned like we saw with the changes to Snapchat, it appears as if these new features have been generally well received by the instagram community thus far.

The Instagram video chat I feature can be accessed through the Instagram Direct section of the app, and you can chat with one person or in a small group of up to four users. It’s also important to note that Instagram video chat will only work with people you already have a connection with, so you can’t initiate contact with a new person via this video feature.

If the Instagram video chat update wasn’t enough, the app is starting to introduce AR filters that are intended to compete directly with Snapchat. These filters will be designed by celebrities and large organizations such as Ariana Grande and Buzzfeed, and more will be added to the app as time goes on. It’s a blatant jab at Snapchat and an attempt to steal young users away from their biggest competition, and we’ll have to see how it pans out.