Instagram Gets Group Video Calls, New Explore Section and More


Instagram is among the few “elite” social networks that have managed to cross the 1 billion monthly active users mark – the Facebook-owned app is readily growing and the company keeps adding new features to keep the audience hooked.

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It just received a new update – Instagram can now be used for group video calling and lets you chat with up to four friends using the app’s “Direct” feature, by simply opening a conversation and tapping the camera icon on the top-right of the interface.

Group Video Calls

It works like the YouTube app (minimized video), and lets you browse content on Instagram while video chatting by minimizing the video. Also, if your group members are in a video chat, the camera button turns blue so you can tap it to join in. Like most video call enabled services, there are no limits on how long you can stay in the call.

Instagram group video call feature

It does not let you initiate a video call to a profile directly unless you start a Direct conversation with it. Of course, Blocked people cannot video call you, and you can also mute some people within a group.

New Explore Section

Instagram is making it easier and more interactive to find the kind of content you are looking for, the new Explore section categorizes stuff with Topic Channels, that lets you surf around based on your filters.

Additionally, a horizontal array shows curated recommendations for you, and a For You channel personalizes the content based on your interests.

Instagram Explore Section

There’s also a new list of hashtags that you can choose from, as well as some new topics such as Art, Sports, Beauty, Fashion, and much more.

Camera Effects

This overhauled version also comes with some new camera filters – designed by noted personalities including Ariana Grande, Baby Kriel, NBA, Liza Koshy, and Buzzfeed.


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In order to get those filters, you are required to follow the Instagram profiles of the respective entities. Unless you want their content in your news feed, you can also click a new filter and add it to your camera directly.

Instagram has detailed the new features in its blog post, you can check it out here. The new version is rolling out to both iOS and Android devices.

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