How to video call on Instagram
Video calls are a great way to stay in touch with people belonging to our circles, especially if they live far from us or if, for one reason or another, we are unable to see them often. Today, the apps that allow us to video call friends and relatives are many; even Instagram, despite having been born with a very different goal, has long supported this function, proving to be very useful not only for sharing posts, stories and other content with our fanbase, but also for virtually cultivating our relationships. When we have to video call someone, however, we tend to forget that we can do it via social photo, despite it being an application that we use practically every day and with which we are very familiar. In this guide, in fact, I will try to explain in detail how to video call on Instagram , revealing how the video-chat system works, what are its limits and what are the positive aspects.
The video call function of Instagram is useful for talking in live streaming with other users of the social network, especially with those who share the same interests (see the part where I talk about co-watching). It is an option that comes close – although not too close – to Facebook Messenger rooms. It is worth specifying, however, that this is not a main option of the social network, and therefore it will not allow you to fully enjoy all the classic options available during a virtual meeting. or a live broadcast. Furthermore, you will be limited to interacting with only a small number of users.
How Instagram video calls work
Instagram video calls work through Direct Messages . To do them, you must use the section Chat , by clicking on the private message icon or by swiping left in any part of the feed. You will be allowed to contact users using the VoIP protocol, which operates over the internet (this technology is also used by modern landline phones).
One thing you may not know – but it is very practical – is that the app allows multitasking . This means that while you’re making a video call, you can continue using Instagram as normal, scrolling through the feed, watching stories, sending private messages and posting content. To do this, during the video chat, you have to touch the icon of the square (top, left) which is used to miniaturize the face of the other person in a small window and which you can move wherever you like. (PIP mode). So, even while you are chatting with your friends, you can continue to mess around on Instagram with peace of mind.
If you want to use other apps on your phone while there is a video call in progress
strong>, you can do it; as soon as you leave Instagram, your interlocutor will stop seeing you, but will continue to hear you normally.
In addition to allowing “one-to-one” video calls, Instagram also supports group calls , a feature that is very useful if you want to contact several people at the same time. Especially in this case, however, it is good to remember that this app was not designed and developed exclusively for video calls, so there are some limitations to keep in mind: in particular, Instagram allows for rather limited group video calls, with a maximum of 6 participants .
Finally, it should be noted that it is not possible to make video calls via Instagram Web, or from your computer (at the moment). You will then need to use the app for iOS (iPad or iPhone) or Android (smartphone and tablet).
Main features of Instagram video calls
Let’s briefly summarize the main features of video calls on Instagram:
- While video calling me on Instagram, you can continue to use the app regularly or even “fiddle” on your smartphone (bearing in mind that, by doing so, your interlocutor would temporarily stop seeing you);
- You can make video calls single or group (with a limit of 6 participants);
- You can add new participants to a video call already in progress;
- You can use effects to make the video chat more fun ;
- You can take a screenshot during the video-chat;
- You can take advantage of the co-watching option, i.e. share multimedia contents with the other participants in the video call, watching and commenting on them with them live;
- You cannot video call strangers, unless they have first received and approved your message (and vice versa, that is, a stranger cannot video call you unless you have accepted his direct).
Difference between video calls from Instagram and those from WhatsApp
It must be said that multiple video calls from WhatsApp (or other instant messaging apps) are much better in terms of audio / video quality than those of IG. In addition, it must be said that thanks to them it is possible to directly contact the telephone numbers (registered on WA) and up to a maximum of 8 participants. At the time of writing, in short, WA’s video calls are better and could represent a valid alternative to a specific video chat app.
Who can you video call on Instagram
On Instagram, it’s allowed to video call both people and Pages. However, it is necessary that the user you want to get in touch with is your “ mutual “, that is someone you follow and who follows you in turn. If so, do not worry: making a video call is still possible, but requires an additional intermediate step. To video call a person or a Page, they must be among your DM , so they must first have received (and of course accepted) your message. After this step, you can start a video chat with them whenever you want.
How to start a single video call on Instagram
Making a single video call on Instagram from Direct Messages is very simple.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Open the app;
- Touch the DM symbol, corresponding to the icon of a paper airplane (top or bottom right, depending on the device in use );
- Tap the camera symbol , top right;
- Select a person from the list or tap Search and type their username user;
- Tap Start , top right.
How to start a group video call on Instagram
To start a group video call on Instagram, there are divers if solutions.
Let’s see the first one, that is the standard one, which consists in repeating the procedure that I have illustrated above with a single, substantial difference: instead of selecting a single user, choose several , up to a maximum of 6 .
There is also a less known alternative, but capable of “circumventing” the limit of 6 participants . In fact, you could create a group on Instagram and then tap the camera symbol , starting a multiple video call.
Unlike the first method, this way you would be able to contact up to 32 users at the same time (which is the participant limit for a group chat on this app). However, if you have to video call so many people together, I do not recommend using Instagram and I suggest you prefer a video chat app, for example. Zoom.
How to add people in the video call in progress on Instagram
If you have already started a normal video call with a user , but in the process you realize you want to add someone else , don’t worry: in fact, there is a way to integrate a new participant into the conversation already in progress, without having to interrupt it and start a new one.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, do this:
- Tap on the icon with the two men and the writing Add , bottom right, during the video call in progress;
- Search for the name of the user you want to include in the list (below) or type it in the bar search;
- Tap Add.
Doing so will automatically create a new group conversation, where you can continue to insert other people (always bearing in mind that the limit of participants is set at 6, at least for the moment).
Put effects in Instagram video calls
If you are video calling your friends, it might be fun to play a bit with the effects that the app offers. These can be applied to both the front and rear cameras, in real time.
To add a filter during the video call, just choose the option Effects , at the bottom right, and select the one you like best.
Other options of Instagram video calls
During Instagram video calls, there are various features that you can take advantage of. Some you probably already know, while others are a little more particular, and therefore worth highlighting.
Here are a few:
- On the top bar, there are the symbols to momentarily activate / deactivate the video and microphone, as well as the one to turn the camera;
- By touching the first button at the bottom right, that is the white circle, you take a snapshot;
- By choosing the “Multimedia content” option, you can send the interlocutor different types of content: posts you like, saved posts and “suggested for you” posts from the same application. This is an interesting co-watching feature (which not many other apps have), which gives you the ability to share and watch together (and in real time) videos, photos and more.
How to end a video call on Instagram
Now that you and your friends are done chatting, you’re wondering how to interrupt the video call , am I right? It’s really basic: you just have to click on the X (top right).
A screen will appear telling you that you left the conversation and how long it lasted. In addition, you will be asked for feedback on its audio / video quality (eg you can answer that the video call was good or poor).
How to video call unknown people on Instagram
If you’re curious about video calling users you don’t know on Instagram (e.g. a contact from the address book who is not in your circles on IG), I have bad news for you: it’s not possible .
As I already explained to you at the beginning of this tutorial, you can only video call on Instagram who is already in your Direct Messages. So, you have no choice: try to send a message to the user in question; only when he accepts your request will you be able to invite him on a video call.
This limitation might seem like a real nuisance, but try to think … Would you like it if a stranger had the freedom to video call you?