Instagram's video chat, custom AR filters now rolling out on Android and iOS
New ways to share and connectBy Shawn Knight
Recap: Facebook at its annual F8 developer conference in May outlined a host of new features coming to the sharing app and now, they're rolling out to users around the world.
Perhaps the biggest addition to Instagram is video chat, allowing friends to seamlessly connect across Android and iOS without the need for a phone number. To initiate a video chat, simply tap the new camera icon in a Direct message thread. Video chat works with up to four users and you can minimize the video to multitask elsewhere within the app.
Do note that you'll need to have an active Direct thread (mutual interaction from both sides) to video chat with someone. Furthermore, blocking or muting someone will disable their ability to video chat with you.
The Explore section, meanwhile, has been redesigned with an emphasis on making it easier to discover new content. Posts are now organized into topic channels, allowing users to be more intentional about how they navigate them.
The first batch of new camera effects is also rolling out to users. Designed by celebrities and brands like Ariana Grande, Liza Koshy, Baby Ariel and the NBA, the custom filters will automatically be added to your Instagram filter if you follow any of the associated accounts (if not, you can trial the effect and manually add it to your camera).