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Instagram’s Video Chat And New Custom AR Filters Arrive Today


At the F8 developers conference, Facebook announces a bunch of new Instagram Features. Due to these new features, no doubt, Instagram has become the most frequently used app and is estimated to be worth more than $100 Billion with over 1 billion user worldwide.

Photo sharing platform has announced new features for the service that include the following: Video Chat, new camera effects, and Topic channels on Explore. Today, those features are live.

Video Chat in Instagram Direct

Instagram users can now start a one-on-one video chat or a group video chat with up to four people in Instagram Direct. In order to start a video chat, just open a contact in the Direct inbox and tap on the camera icon at the top right corner to start a video chat. Instagram’s video chat feature has an interesting feature i.e. you can minimise the video chat window and perform other tasks simultaneously such as browse your feed, share media, post a story and a lot more.

However, you have to establish a direct link with another person firsthand via a message to start the video chat, and once you are in a video call, the camera icon will turn blue. Other users can also join the video call, and there is also an option to block contacts which prevents them from starting a video chat with you, and also mute them to stop getting notifications.

Personalised Explore Feed

More than two hundred million users visit the Explore tab every day to discover interesting content. And now Instagram has topic channels on Explore as a way to give you new ways to discover your interests.

The redesigned Explore Feed now features a horizontal tray at the top of the page which hosts channels like Art, Sports and Fashion among others, where you can discover relevant content. Among the channels is also a ‘For You’ card, which hosts a wide array of content tailored for users based on their interests, offering a personalised experience when it comes to discovering trends and new ideas. Moreover, there is also a row of popular hashtags below the channels tray, which introduces yet another way to discover content on Explore.

“We’re also giving you better ways to control what you see on Explore. You can browse through a variety of interests by swiping from grid to grid, or you can go deep into a specific interest by tapping on a channel and scrolling up,” said Instagram in the announcement. “If you’d like to remove a topic channel, press and hold the channel and select ‘Mute’ from the menu. This sends the channel to the end of the tray, giving you the option to unmute it at any time.”

Custom AR filters

Instagram has added several more camera effects to its app, which were designed by singers Ariana Grande and Baby Ariel, YouTube personality Liza Koshy, Internet media company BuzzFeed and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

You will notice that the related camera effect will be added to the Instagram camera when you tap on the face icon at the bottom right corner if you are following any of those accounts. If you do not follow any of those users, then you can still try out the effect when you see a Story made by another person using the effect and tapping on “try it” under their username.

The Ariana Grande effect takes your face and layers duplicates of it on top of each other in a retro style. BuzzFeed’s effect adds a layer with a large font and a light flashes on the image. The Baby Ariel filter adds star-shaped light layers on the image along with softer colours. And the Liza Koshy effect adds a funny looking moustache and large eyebrows to your face. I have not seen what the NBA camera effect look like, but I will update this article once I gain access to it.

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