Facebook-owned Instagram launched a bunch of new features for its mobile application at the F8 Developer’s Conference. These were rolled out today much to the delight of its Android and iOS app users. These include video calling, a revamped Explore tab and custom AR filters. The features, come days after the launch of the IGTV app, Instagram’s answer to Youtube. The vertical-video sharing platform is already hosting about one billion users. In an attempt to compete with Alphabet-owned Youtube, the Instagram ecosystem is getting interesting by the day. Here’s a brief run-down on what’s new with Instagram.
#1. Video Calling
The most talked about feature is video chatting or video calling. Instagram now allows users to have a one-to-one video chat with a single person or group of four. This is only available with a person you have a direct thread with. Should you wish to stop someone from interacting with you, features like blocking and muting are already available. Unlike other video-chatting platforms, Instagram divides the screen into half, one for you and the other one for the person you’re talking to. The option to minimize a video chat screen is also available to you while using Instagram normally.
#2. Revamped Explore Tab
The ‘Explore’ tab gets a redesign and functionality upgrade. You can now search categories, such as animals, technology, nature as well trending hashtags.
#3. Augmented Reality (AR) Filters
If the ‘Explore’ tab didn’t excite you, the AR filters for stories will. Instagram stories will now get a lot more interactive with AR filters created by third party developers. For starters, there are filters from Ariana Grande, NBA, and Buzzfeed which are sure to leave users asking for more. Similar to Snapchat, these AR filters will let you augment a photo with virtual effects and objects.