Video Chat and New Camera Effects Now Available in Instagram


If you'd rather not receive notifications from a certain person, you can tap on their name at the top of your Direct message thread to mute them.

Announced in a press release by the company today, Instagram has added new features including video chat, topic channels in the Explore page, and new camera effects - all of which are set to drop today.

The other new feature is a brand new, redesigned Explore page.

What might surprise you: You'll be able to keep browsing Instagram while you chat with three of your friends - thanks to a nifty picture-in-picture mode built into the app. Tap on the new camera icon and the phone belonging to the person you want to video chat with will start to ring.

Video Chat allows you to start with one member, and as more people join the chat, the video will expand to show as many as four members at one time.

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Video Chat is Instagram's name for the video calling feature that'll be housed in the direct messaging section of the mobile app. You're allowed to call anyone you can direct message by hitting the video button in a chat, and blocked people can't call you.

To adjust your video chat notifications, tap the gear icon on your profile, scroll down to Push Notifications, then scroll down again to "Video Chats". Beyond channels for topics like art, travel, and animals, Instagram has also constructed a "For You" channel that is tailored to your interests. These give you better ways to discover posts about stuff you're interested in. Previously, Explore's 200 million daily users just saw a random mish-mash of popular content related to their interests, with just a single "Videos You Might Like" section separated.

Meanwhile, the new Explore tab features a carousel of icons at the top of the screen that will make it easier than ever to find content you want to see. You can also "Mute" any channel to send it to the end of the list.

These filters will be designed by celebrities and social influencers, such as Ariana Grande, BuzzFeed, and the National Basketball Association. So for example, after following Liza Koshy, there will be a new camera effect that places a mustache and thick eyebrows on you. Note that you will need to follow these accounts for their camera effects to be available in the Stories camera. More effects are coming to other accounts soon.