At last month's F8 conference, Facebook announced that a video chat feature for Instagram was in the works. Today, that starts rolling out to users across the world. And as was previously announced, it works with groups, too. The video chat automatically adjusts as more people are added to a maximum of five participants, yourself included. You can minimize a video call in progress to a small window and scroll through the rest of the app, which should please the multitaskers out there.While that's being rolled out, Instagram has also revamped the Explore tab, keeping the tile-style look but expanding the topics to include sports, movies and a section curated especially for you based on past behavior.
Snapchat wants the "chat" part of its name to go even further. On Tuesday, the app launched group video chat for up to 16 people at once as it becomes more of a messaging service than just a content platform. The update also includes mentions, or tagging of friends, in Snapchat Stories. SEE ALSO: Snapchat's first-ever TV ad hypes the app's everyday camera possibilities Snapchat's video chat update, rolling out to users globally this week, means that users will have another way to communicate. While not everyone on Snapchat is focused on chat, it's still a core part of the app.
Instagram will increase its video time limit from one minute to 10 minutes for most users, in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from YouTube. In the expansion, announced Wednesday, Instagram accounts with large audiences will be able to go as long as an hour. Video will be available through Instagram or a new app called IGTV. The video will eventually give Facebook, Instagram's parent company, more opportunities to sell advertising. It is the latest instance in which Instagram has ripped a page from a rival's playbook in an effort to preserve its status as a place for young people to share and view content.
Facebook Messenger is bringing selfie filters to real-time video chat. On Monday, Facebook announced that its Messenger app will let users conduct group video chats in real time. The splitscreen video will support six callers at any given time, but up to 50 users can join the conversation via text and voice, with the "dominant speaker" popping up on the video feed. Users on iOS will also be able to add 3D selfie filters--or "Masks"--to amuse their friends, a feature that's been popular on Snapchat for quite some time. According to Facebook, selfie filters will roll out to Android users in the near future.
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.