Instagram is rolling out video calls to all its users. The new call feature is integrated with your inbox where you also receive replies to your story. The feature appears to have been added in one of the recent updates to the app and has now gone live for most, if not all users. Here’s how you can make a video call on Instagram.
Video Call On Instagram
Open Instagram and tap the paper plane button at the top right that takes you to your inbox. Tap the friend you want to call or tap the plus button at the top right, and select a contact.
At the top of the chat thread, you will see a new camera icon. Tap it to start the call. Your recipient must also have this feature enabled and that might include having the latest version of the Instagram app. Though you initiate a call as a video call, you do have the option to make it a simple voice call by turning off your camera and leaving the mic on. You can also switch between the front and back end camera. By default, Instagram uses the front camera.
The video call can be minimized to a little floating window by tapping the square button at the top left of the call interface. You can then continue to browse the app while still in the middle of the call. Any time you want to return to the full screen call interface, just tap the floating window and it will maximize.
So far, you can only call one person at a time but we going to go out on a limb and predict that this feature will expand to allow group calls. Group video calls are quickly becoming a thing; Snapchat has them, and iOS 12 will allow you to FaceTime multiple people at once.
Video calls aren’t a new feature for social media apps or messaging apps. There are plenty of apps that offer it but they’re mostly productivity based. Given how terrible Skype has become over the past few years though, it’s a market that could do with a new, better alternative. A lot of people favor Discord, some use Slack but there isn’t anything quite like what Skype was back when it was good. You never really know what feature an app will develop well enough for it to replace an app like Skype. Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp already seem to be a preferred mode of messaging for anyone that doesn’t have iMessages. Instagram has as good a chance as any other app to replace Skype.