Just in case you needed another excuse to spend more time in Instagram, you can now add the photo-sharing service to the list of apps that support group video calls. Instagram is rolling out its group video chat features starting today, along with a redesigned Explore tab and new augmented reality features for Stories. SEE ALSO: Snapchat could soon get its own version of Instagram's Boomerang First teased last month during Facebook's F8 conference, video chat is part of Instagram Direct. You can launch video calls of up to four people from chats in your inbox. One of the nice features is that the app allows you to multitask while on a call, so you can keep browsing your feed, or post to your Story, while chatting.
Instagram has launched its video chat feature and revealed new celebrity camera filters as part of a major overhaul. At the F8 Developer Conference last month, Mark Zuckerberg revealed the Facebook-owned app will be teaming up with other platforms such as Spotify to allow users to post directly to their Instagram Stories. Today's app update sees the new video chat feature that will allow users to speak face-to-face with their friends individually, or in small groups. The firm is also rolling out new interactive camera effects, and has overhauled its Explore tab to organize content into'topic channels.' One of the first new filters is an Ariana Grande effect that creates multiple images of your face all over the screen.
This past spring, Apple demoed a version of FaceTime that would support group video chat for up to 32 people at once. The update was supposed to come with the official release of iOS 12 this fall--but it turns out that FaceTime will be a one-on-one video chat app for a while longer. In the latest developer release of the iOS 12 software, Apple said Group FaceTime has been removed from the upcoming public release of iOS 12. It's now expected to launch later in the fall. Personally, I don't mind the wait: I have a hard enough time getting four friends together for dinner, nevermind coordinating a video chat for eight times as many people. And it's almost certainly better to have the new feature work well when it launches, rather than launch with bugs.
While Instagram is busy ripping off Snapchat feature-for-feature, the original ephemeral messaging app has finally added something Instagram has had for years: group chat. SEE ALSO: This is getting ridiculous. Facebook just ripped off Snapchat's navigation. Snapchat's group chat is simply called "Groups" and it's pretty straightforward if you know your way around the app, but it does come with a few quirks, and some of its features may not be that obvious. How many people can join a Group?