Instagram is Adding Video Calls and a New Explore Page

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Facebook is hosting its F8 developer conference, and, while on stage, the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, took some time to reveal a few new features for Instagram.

The new features, which were announced today, will begin rolling out today and should be available to all users over the coming weeks. The primary new feature is video calling, which Zuckerberg says is currently in a testing phase. It will reportedly roll out globally “soon”. Users will be able to easily start a video call just by pressing the new camera icon at the top of a direct messaging thread.

There will be a new paper plane icon at the top right of each user’s thread, which will help a user create a new group conversation or a new direct message thread. After starting that, simply tap the “+” icon and then select two or more people to get a group conversation up and running. Instagram will also let users lower the video chat screen, so that they can continue to use Instagram as they see fit but sticking around in the video call.

The other new feature is a brand new, redesigned Explore page. Instagram wants the new page to help users find content they are interested in more quickly. The new page will offer up icons at the top of the page, which will work as a sort of carousel. Users will be able to turn it and select different categories that they want to see, which can include things like animals, architecture, photography, and other topics.

The new updates will be rolling out soon.

Our Take

Instagram adding video calls makes sense. One of those situations where it’s probably late to the game, but still a nice bonus for fans of the platform. The new Explore page sounds like a nice change, as long as the topics are ones that each user will actually want to see.

[via The Verge]