The emergence of smartphone applications has transformed the way people did everyday things. Every small area of their lives has been covered by smartphone apps. May it be laundry, food order, or photo sharing. The apps are available in abundance to ease lives of people. No need to show the beautiful landscape from the place you visited recently by taking a photograph through a camera and printing it. You can just capture it in the smartphone and share with the world through photo sharing apps. Moreover, developers of photo sharing apps have included functionalities to help people give various effects to photos and make it look more captivating. People have stuck themselves to smartphones to use these apps and share beautiful moments with the world. Moreover, models are sharing their photos on these apps and earning money. No need to go with conventional methods. There are many benefits of adopting these apps. As these developers introduce new features, benefits will go on adding. As the era of smartphones emerged, the application developers crowded the app stores with their apps. One of the prominent photo sharing app developers is Instagram.
The Facebook-owned app has implemented a strong strategy to gain a competitive edge over other market players. It has rolled out a 4-way group video chat for iOS and Android users. The feature was introduced at F8 in May. With the help of this new feature, four users can group together and video chat through Instagram Direct. The rollout of this feature enables Instagram to become a one-stop-shop for its 1 billion users. It already has features such as feed, messaging, Stories, Live, and the most recent IGTV.
The functionalities offered by Instagram has paid off as the average time spent per day by the U.S. user rises from 29 minutes in September 2017 to 55 minutes in June 2018. More time spent on the app implies that there would be more ad views and increased revenue for the parent company Facebook. Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012. According to the analysts of Bloomberg, it is expected to be worth nearly $100 billion today.
One of the prime features of the video calling is, users can minimize the window and get back to the feed or other functionality without end of the call. This enables co-browsing with people who are in the video chat. Friends can join the call-in-progress. However, users have an option to mute other friends if they do not want to receive more invites. Users have the liberty to call anyone to whom they can direct message. The video chatting button in a chat window will enable them to call. However, blocked users cannot call the users who blocked them.
The rollout of this feature is an endeavor by Instagram to take on its rival Snapchat, which offers 16-way group video chat feature. However, it does not offer simultaneous browsing experience. Other photo-sharing apps including FaceTime and Houseparty offer 32-way and 8-way group video chatting feature. Along with the release of group video chat, Instagram has released two new features including enhanced explore page and camera effects. It seems that these features have been added to increase the time spent on the platform. Let us see how people will respond to this video chat feature of Instagram.