Instagram 101: Video Calls Are Coming to Direct Messages in a Future Update

Video Calls Are Coming to Direct Messages in a Future Update

The app that started as simply a photo-sharing social media platform has now expanded to encompass so much more than that. Between live videos, stories, chat, even animated GIF stickers, Instagram is more than the sum of its pictures. But there's still one frontier that Instagram has yet to reach, though one that it looks to release soon — video calls.

While the feature is little more than a rumor at this point, we have evidence it's on its way. An image of a video chat icon started the curiosity off, while discoveries of video and audio calls in Instagram's coding further strengthened the rumor. It seems we can be sure video calls are in the works, but when or if they will release is still to be known.

From how it looks right now, video calls will only be available in an active direct chat. If a user hasn't accepted the chat invitation in their inbox, you won't be able to video call them.

However, once the chat has been accepted, you will see a video call icon appear in the navigation bar at the top of the display (seen in our Photoshopped screenshot in the middle below). Tapping on the icon will launch a video call, though, we don't know exactly how the process will work since tapping on it right now does nothing.

Whether Instagram will allow users to customize their calls with stickers, GIFs, or other posts, or whether these calls will be as plain as FaceTime, has yet to be seen.

Images via Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks, Guilherme Rambo

There isn't much else known about Instagram's arguably biggest upcoming feature. Once we know more, we'll update this guide accordingly.

If you want to be one of the first to give it a try, your best bet is to be on the Instagram beta. While the Android beta is open to the public, the iPhone beta is invite-only. Unless you know someone already on the beta, you'll be better off picking up an Android phone and hoping you get lucky.

Cover image by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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