Instagram announces video calling, new AR effects and other features in its upcoming update

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May 2, 2018
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Yesterday at the first day of Facebook’s annual developer conference F8, where Facebook-owned Instagram announced a lot of new features coming to the various platforms owned by Facebook. In this article, you will learn about the Instagram updates.

Not long ago, we saw many improvements to Instagram which made it easier to upload stories such as 10 pictures together. As of now, the company has introduced four new features in its latest update:

Apps will be integrated to upload directly to Instagram stories


The company announces that the first two apps to be integrated into Stories are Spotify and GoPro. Spotify’s integration brings song stickers that link to the full song in Spotify so your viewers can vibe with your current, playlist, album or song. You can either post Stories or send an Instagram DM (direct message) with a song/playlist/album.

GoPro’s integration works by simply choosing a clip in the GoPro app and you’ll be able to share directly to Instagram stories. From here, you’ll be prompted to re-center and/or crop the video or image before uploading. There is no need to have to link your GoPro account with Instagram as the sharing is done locally on your device, via the Instagram app.

Instagram says the new integrations on the Instagram app will also work when posting Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories and there will be more apps in the near future that will be integrated to Instagram Stories like Spotify and GoPro.

New AR features just like Snapchat


Let’s move on to the new AR effects. Instagram has taken advantage of Facebook’s Camera Effects Platform to bring AR effects and copied Snapchat. These AR effects range from face filters to environmental ones. Also, a feature introduced by Snapchat a few months ago.

Videochat feature


The next new feature of Instagram is Video Chat. This can be initiated by tapping the video icon at the top corner of any Direct Message thread whether it’s with another individual or “a small group”. Based on the following press image, we assume a max number of four participants per video call session could be possible for now. This feature was previously introduced by Snapchat a while ago.

New Explore Page


Finally, Instagram gets a new Explore page. This is the page that is personalized for every user to discover new people and accounts to follow. Rather than just a feed, it is categorized into topic channels so you can browse with more directions if you find a topic you like, you can see related hashtags as well.

The GoPro integration is gone live while Spotify integration should be live soon. The new third-party camera effects and Instagram’s new explore page in the Instagram app will be rolling out in the coming weeks. The Instagram video chat will also be rolling out globally soon.

Seeing Instagram do what Snapchat is doing and then Facebook also doing what both of these apps are doing. It’s quite frustrating to see these tech giants copy each other rather than bringing something new to the market or innovating in some way that could attract people.

Are you excited to get these features on your Instagram?

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