While the old skool might not align with the trends, it seems to be Instagram’s time to shine. Just the other day, the company officially launched IGTV, a new You-tube like app specifically for long-form vertical video, and we seem to have got just a tip of the iceberg. Instagram is now rolling out a new set of features including a group video chat feature.
With your Instagram friends, either just one person or a group, you can easily connect across iOS or Android without a phone number, and have a group video chat – in Instagram Direct.
Getting started with Instagram group video chat
To start a video chat, you just have to 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.
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. If you want to join in, simply tap the camera to join, and when you’re ready to leave the video chat, tap the red phone icon at the bottom.
Related Article: IGTV is Facebook’s answer to Youtube
If you had blocked someone, they will not be able to video chat you. You can also mute a person if you don’t want to receive notifications from them. To update your video chat notifications, tap the gear icon on profile and find the new video chat control in Push Notifications.
This is outside the norm of the app being a simple photo-sharing app, but you can’t argue out the fact that the direction is paying off for the company, as it seeks to be the primary alternative for its 1 billion users.