Now that they have seemingly cloned and surpassed all functionalities of social media content on Snapchat, Instagram is planning on trying to replace the functionality of the smartphone—you know, the thing you use to actually get on the app.
An analysis of Instagram’s code revealed several files that suggest possible voice and video calling features, reports TechCrunch. The analysis found icons resembling a video camera in the app’s application packages (or APKs), and if it couldn’t be more obvious, the names of the files are “call.png” and “video_call.png.”
Image via TechCrunch
It doesn’t seem as though Instagram is trying to keep this a huge secret, as APKs are publicly available, even though they can be hard to decipher. This update comes as no surprise considering Facebook has been using every trick in the book to get users on their family of apps longer and diminish any need for other apps (we’re looking at you, Snapchat).
For starters, it is another feature that Snapchat already has, which first launched video calling back in 2014 with the addition of audio and video notes in 2016. Snapchat’s video calling feature also allows you to overlay a variety of its famous AR filters on your face during the call.
But overall, this feature is another way to keep users on the app. Instagram’s parent company Facebook has plenty of experience with voice and video calling between its Messenger app and WhatsApp. As of a year ago, 400 million people used Messenger audio and video calling each month, which is a clear indicator that it is in demand amongst users.
With the attractiveness of Instagram and the ease of calling with Facebook and WhatsApp, things aren’t looking bright for Snapchat. Moreover, Instagram could enable calling support to Facebook and WhatsApp accounts for a new convenience we haven’t seen before.
What started as a visual alternative has blossomed into one of the most popular social apps available. Instagram keeps us on our toes (and phones) to check Story updates, post selfies, and send memes to friends.
Will you use this feature to call your friends directly from Instagram? How will tool affect the social media content you post on the app? Tweet us @socialfly and let us know your thoughts. We’re undecided if this feature will catch on, but if anyone knows what users want, it’s Facebook.