Instagram may already be your favourite app for sharing memories. But soon, it is likely to become a destination for your voice or video calls as an APK teardown of the Instagram for Android and Instagram Direct apps has shown some mysterious files that are pointing towards the new features. Facebook, the parent company behind Instagram, could use the voice and video calling support to take on Snapchat, which already faced criticism for a recent redesign.
The APK files of the Instagram and Instagram Direct apps includes button icons for “Call” and “Video Call” functionality, reports TechCrunch, citing Twitter user Ishan Agarwal. An Instagram spokesperson refused to give official confirmation on the new finding and told TechCrunch, “I’m afraid we can’t comment on this one.” However, there is a history of burying unreleased features within the app code.
Folks at XDA Developers claim that they’ve spotted a couple of strings within the Instagram app that are defining the video chat feature. Incidentally, a video call button was spotted in January that appeared to be testing internally.
It is worth noting here that while features to enable voice and video calls are new for Instagram users, these aren’t something fresh for Snapchatters. Snapchat launched video calling support back in 2014 and added features to record audio and video notes in 2016.
Having said that, the addition of voice and video calling is expected to give a sharp edge to Instagram to fierce the competition created by Snapchat. Instagram already has Facebook and WhatsApp as the two platforms to make communication for its users easier and convenient than what they can get from Snapchat. Moreover, Instagram could enable calling support to Facebook and WhatsApp accounts to reach new heights.
As of September last year, Instagram has a userbase of over 800 million users – with 500 million daily active users. It lately brought features such as customisable privacy controls for Instagram Direct, ‘Type’ mode for text-only stories, and GIF stickers to attract more users.