Instagram is rolling out a host of new features today, including group video chat and a redesigned Explore page. On stage at Facebook’s F8 developer conference, the media CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, took some time to reveal a few new features coming for Instagram.
The newly announced features will begin rolling out and should be available to all users over the coming weeks. The primary new feature of Instagram is video calling, which according to Facebook CEO, is in testing phase. It will reportedly be available globally “soon.”
Users of Instagram will be able to easily start a video call just by pressing the new camera icon at the top of a direct messaging thread. While the Explore tab will also feature more topics, too. Now, the Explore page 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.
There will be a new paper plane icon at the top right of each user’s thread, will help a user create a new group conversation or a new direct message thread. Launching it, simply tap the “+” icon and then select two or more people to get a group conversation up and running.
Instagram will also allow users lower the video chat screen so that they are allowed to use Instagram as they see fit but sticking around in the continued video call.
Video chat allows you to chat with one person or a small group, and you can also minimize the video screen during the conversation and chat while browsing Instagram. Instagram hasn’t specified how many people can participate in a video call at a given time, though. 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’s Explore page is traditionally a page where Instagram complies posts it thinks you might like, and that same page is designed to let users discover new content, people, or brands to follow. With the redesigned Explore page, Instagram wants the new page help users to find the content they are interested in more quickly. Users will be glad to turn it and select different categories that they want to see, which can include things like animals, photography, and other topics.
For now, this is it! Instagram says video chat and the new Explore page will be rolling out to all users over the coming weeks.
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