After teasing the new video chat feature during Facebook's F8 conference last month, the company has chose to go forth in dropping the feature as part of Instagram Direct. To leave the video chat, tap on the red phone icon at the bottom.
The new feature allows users to chat with anyone they have an active direct message with, and what's nice about the feature is that you can add up to four users to one thread. Some Instagram users are still getting used to IGTV but will now also have video chatting, custom AR filters, and a semi-redesign to contend with.
Back in May, we found evidence that Instagram would soon bring video calling to its mobile app. More friends can join an Instagram call in progress, though you can mute them if you don't want to get more call invites. To update your video chat notifications, tap the gear icon on profile and find the new video chat control in Push Notifications. With the new update, photos and videos will now be put into a "topic channel" where you can sort through posts that fit your specific interests. With the introduction of topic channels, users should find even more content related directly to them. There's a new For You channel which essentially combines the best posts from your interests, and then the other topic channels that consist of other posts.
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. 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.
And lastly, Instagram has partnered with Ariana Grande, Buzzfeed, Liza Koshy, Baby Ariel, and the National Basketball Association to bring its users new camera effects. You can join an active group video chat by looking through group threads; if the camera icon turns blue, just tap on the camera to join the group. All of these features are available on Android and iOS starting today. If you're following these accounts, you'll see their effect in the Stories camera, and you can hit Try It On if you spot a friend using one you like. Growing the audience of these content makers is critical to Instagram as it strives to be their favorite app amongst competition.
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