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Instagram is taking on FaceTime with its own video chat feature

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Snapchat may have pioneered the “stories” format, but it’s Instagram that’s taking it in new and exciting directions.

At Facebook’s F8 conference, Instagram announced a new way for users to share content from third-party apps directly to Stories. Same goes for sharing to Facebook Stories. Spotify and GoPro will be the first two partners for this new Stories integration.

Additionally, the app’s getting video chat, new augmented-reality camera effects from third parties, and a redesigned Explore tab.

What kind of content can Instagram and Facebook Stories junkies expect to share from third-party apps?

For Spotify, it’ll be a “sticker of songs, playlists, or albums you’re listening to” and for GoPro, you’ll be able to share photos and videos taken with your GoPro camera and saved into its respective mobile app.

Share songs from Spotify directly to Instagram.

Share songs from Spotify directly to Instagram.

Instagram says Spotify’s Stories integration will roll out to all of its users starting tomorrow. Sharing to Facebook Stories is “coming soon.”

Video chat’s been a rumored feature for a while and now it’s finally coming. The feature will be accessible from within Instagram Direct, the messaging portion of the app. 

The coolest part is that you can minimize a video chat and continue to browse Instagram. Video chat will support up to four video feeds, split into quadrants as shown below.

To start a video chat in Instagram, just tap the camera button in Direct.

To start a video chat in Instagram, just tap the camera button in Direct.

Chat with a single person or with up to four people.

Chat with a single person or with up to four people.

Video chat isn’t quite ready for everyone just yet. The company says it’s still testing the feature, but it’ll “roll out globally soon.”

Snapchat users love to boast about having the best face filters and stickers to spice up their Snaps. Not to be left in its dust, Instagram’s opening Stories up to third parties so that they can design their own camera effects.

Whether it’s an new face filter or augmented reality sticker, things on Insta Stories are going to get lit soon.

Accounts from the likes of Ariana Grande, Baby Ariel, Liza Koshy, Vogue, Buzzfeed, and the NBA have already signed on to create fun effects. 

“That means you can try out Kylie Jenner’s favorite lip colors in your selfie, add a cloud of hearts and Pomeranians to fluff up your photo, or turn any video into a NBA dunkcam,” the company said in a press release.

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Finally, there’s the redesigned Explore tab. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you it’s trash, which is why it needed a revamp.

Instagram says the section is still based on your interests, but the “now organized into topic channels so you can browse across your interests and go deeper on any area you’d like.” 

Meet the new Instagram explore tab.

Meet the new Instagram explore tab.

The new Instagram Explore tab will start showing up for users in the coming weeks.

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