A group video chat feature could be the icing on the cake for Instagram—the ephemeral picture sharing app has gone up one notch as it plans to edge Snapchat. Fresh from rolling out a new product called IGTV, the Facebook subsidiary has launched a group video chat feature that will let you chat with three or more of your friends.
You can chat with three or more of your friends at the same time, while video screens can be minimized to a thumbnail in case you want to continue browsing your messages and feed. Connecting my take a couple of seconds before it hooks up, but overall is a cool feature.
Video calls for now are limited to those you are connected with [your followers and those who follow you as well]. This, in my vie is probably the best way to keep the chat private and not have uninvited people invading your privacy.
TNW reports that you can also mute video chats should you not be keen on chatting with a particular user when invited. This can be done by toggling the option located in the Details screen for any chat you are part of.
The news of a video calling feature was first broken back in March when respected and reliable tech blogger WABetaInfo spotted it. According to WABetaInfo, a user will be able to access it once he opens an active chat with another user. What that means is that you will be able to make video call only if the person on the other end has already accepted your request to chat. However, WABetaInfo adds that the icon won’t appear if the person on the other end turns down the request.
To start using the group video calling feature on your Instagram app, you will have to download it in any of the app stores—Google Play and iOS. This can simply be done by upgrading your current version of the app to the latest version.
Just last week, Instagram launched IGTV, a long-form video features that signals a new way for online creators to make money while creating content for their followers to consume.
IGTV hosts video content of up to one hour in length, and anyone can upload videos either from Instagram or the dedicated app. Everything about your upload is mobile-related, which means the videos will be in portrait mode.
IGTV is made simple for every user, there is no need to search to start watching content from those you follow on Instagram. Among other things, you can swipe to discover more video content, switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching” among other features added to the app. Sending and liking videos you find interesting are also part of the newly launched app.
Like YouTube, IGTV allows you to create channels as a creator. Those who follow you can follow your channel to watch your uploaded videos. Though, it is an app, you are not limited to uploading videos via mobile alone as you can also do that on the web.