Instagram is rolling out a slew of new features to bring Stories and chats to the next level. At the F8 Developer Conference today, 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. And, Instagram has revealed a 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.' The firm is now testing out the new video chat feature, with plans to roll it out around the world soon.
Snapchat may have pioneered the "stories" format, but it's Instagram that's taking it in new and exciting directions. At Facebook's F8 conference, Instagram announced a new way for users to share content from third-party apps directly to Stories. Same goes for sharing to Facebook Stories. Spotify and GoPro will be the first two partners for this new Stories integration. Additionally, the app's getting video chat, new augmented-reality camera effects from third parties, and a redesigned Explore tab.
Facebook has begun quietly testing its new group chat app called Bonfire. The app is currently only available in Denmark and users can invite other people to join their Bonfire chats through the Messenger app. Facebook's Bonfire app was first spotted by The Next Web's Matt Navarra after browsing through the Danish Apple App Store. Based on TNW's videos, it looks like Bonfire also includes Snapchat-style effect when users are having a group video chat. Participants in the chat are also capable of sharing pictures from their Bonfire sessions via Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
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.
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.