Instagram introduces video chat, new camera effects and topic channels

The new feature allows users to do video chat in Instagram Direct, either with just one person or a group.

  • Instagram has rolled out new features - video chat, camera effects and topic channels in Explore.

Instagram has introduced a video chat through its direct messaging service, new camera effects and topic channels features as part of its new updates.

The photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook rolled out the new features on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

With the video chat, Nigerians can now interact with their business partners and get closer to friends and families in a video chat. The group chat can also work as a conference chat between business owners.

The new features are now available on Android and IOS apps.

Video Chat in DMs

Now, you can video chat in Instagram Direct, either with just one person or a group.

Instagram added that the Video chat gives users' experience of real-time video in a private space and helps to feel close and connected to friends when you can’t be together.

Your friends are already on Instagram, and with video chat, you can seamlessly connect across iOS and Android and without a phone number.

How to use it

- To start a video chat, swipe into your Direct inbox and open any message thread.

- Tap the new camera icon in the right corner, and the video chat will ring your friends’ phones so they don’t miss it.

“While on the video chat, you can minimize the video and multitask on Instagram, sending messages and photos in Direct, browsing your feed, posting a story and more,” Instagram said in a blog post.

- You can video chat with up to four people at a time, and the video will expand as more friends join. If there’s an active video chat in a group thread, the camera icon will turn blue. Simply tap the camera to join in the fun. You can video chat with your friends for as long as you’d like. When you’re ready to leave the video chat, tap the red phone icon at the bottom.

- To update your video chat notifications, tap the gear icon on profile and find the new video chat control in Push Notifications.

- You need to update your Instagram app if you cannot find the video chat icon on the upper right-hand side of the screen.

Topic Channels on Explore

Over 200 million people visit Explore every day to discover new ideas and find inspiration. With Topic Channels, users can now find it easier to browse through posts you want to see and accounts you want to follow.

With topic channels, you can be more intentional about how you navigate posts on Explore. When you open the page, you’ll see a tray at the top with personalized channels. This includes a ‘For You’ channel, which has a mix of posts tailored to your interests. You’ll also see channels on topics you might like such as Art, Sports, Beauty or Fashion – as well as a list of hashtags, giving you more ways to explore your interests. Now, when you want to get inspired by the latest fashion trends or discover a new travel destination, you can easily find posts you’re looking for and follow those accounts or hashtags.

How to control Channels

You can browse through a variety of interests by swiping from the grid to grid, or you can go deep into a specific interest by tapping on a channel and scrolling up.

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.

New Camera Effects

The new camera effects give more ways to express oneself and feel closer to your favourite accounts.

The new camera effects were designed by singers Ariana Grande and Baby Ariel, YouTube personality Liza Koshy, Internet media company BuzzFeed and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

How to use it

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 aren’t a follower but you see an effect that you love, you can tap to try it on and add it to your camera.

Recently, Instagram launched IGTV, an application that functions like social-media based television allowing users to upload videos up to one hour in length.

From feed, Stories, messaging, Live, IGTV and now video calling, Instagram is in stiff competition with the likes of Youtube and Snapchat to become a one-stop-shop for its 1 billion users’ social needs.

Also from Business Insider Sub-Sahara Africa:

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