At its F8 Developer Conference yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a host of new features for its photo-sharing app, Instagram. The major changes hitting the new app will be the video calling support and new Explore tabs. Facebook will also be adding AR Stickers to the platform which will enhance the overall user experience.
Instagram will be adding video chat for its platform soon, which will allow users to connect in real time. The feature is embedded in the Direct Messaging section of the app.
To start a video chat, users will have to tap the new camera icon at the top of a Direct messaging thread. The users can also minimise the video screen during a conversation and continue to chat while browsing the app.
The platform supports video calling for a one-on-one chat or within a small group. To create group video chat, users have to access the Instagram direct section and then tap the '+' sign to add two or more members to the group chat. Though Instagram hasn’t specified exactly the number of users that will be supported per group call, but the previews indicate the feature will be limited to four people at a time.
Facebook’s AR camera platform will also be landing on Instagram. The photo-sharing app will soon receive AR camera effects that will offer face filters and world effects to the users. It will operate a little differently though as people will be exposed to user-designed filters based on accounts that they follow.
In addition, the AR Camera Effects platform will enable users to try out filters directly from their friends’ stories. Users can just tap “Try it on”, and the tool will be added to your tray according to Instagram post.
Instagram is also getting a revamped “Explore” section to improve discovery of things you’re interested in. The new Explore will better organise suggested content by putting them under relevant topical channels. This will basically offer more personalised content to the user.
The Explore page will now feature buttons in a scrollable, horizontal row on the top of the page, giving users the options to swipe through subjects like animals, photography, and architecture to see more posts related to that particular topic. This way users get to access groups of photos and videos ties to a particular them they like.
While some of these features have already gone live, Facebook has promised all these features will be rolled out in as part of the Instagram update in coming weeks.