Instagram begins rolling out video calling, AR and anti-bullying features


Instagram is getting a makeover, with a slew of new features already being rolled out to the photo-sharing platform.

At Facebook’s F8 conference today, Instagram listed out all the changes being made to the platform, including video calling, AR filters, a redesigned Explore page and a new anti-bullying feature in the comments section. Instagram will also allow more apps to be integrated into Stories, starting with Spotify and GoPro.

Getting jiggy with it

The addition of Spotify will allow users to share a playlist, song or album with followers either via Stories or through an Instagram direct message.

GoPro integration is also just as simple – users simply need to choose a clip on the GoPro app and share directly to Stories, with the ability to edit the video before sharing.

Spotify-Instagram integration

Spotify integration

Neither Spotify nor GoPro will need to be linked to Instagram accounts, however, as sharing happens locally on the device via the Instagram app.

Full o’ filters

With Facebook’s AR Studio at its disposal, Instagram is building custom filters for its own platform, and not just for the front-facing camera, but for the rear one as well. Meaning Instagrammers will be able to apply face filters for selfies and “world effects” for other snapshots.

AR filters are already being used on Instagram by “influencers” like Ariana Grande and Vogue. Users who spot the effects can ‘“try it on” directly from the Story, adding it to their camera tray.

Instagram is also be taking a strong stance on bullying by adding a filter for offensive comments. The filter will identify comments on appearance or threatening remarks and remove them. The anti-bullying filter will be set to the on position automatically once rolled out, but can be switched off in the Comment Controls.

Talking face to face

The long-rumored video chat feature rolling out to the platform will allow up to four Instagrammers to connect via the app. Call participants can minimize the video chat and continue browsing within the app, with the other callers sitting in a thumbnail in a corner.

Browsing will also be made easier with the redesigned Explore page, which will have photo category icons sitting in a carousel. 

In fact, Facebook has announced that the group video chat feature will also be rolled out to WhatsApp, enabling up to four users to join a single call.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.