Facebook Stories could be key to the company's entire future

Facebook Stories could be key to the company's entire future

The feature is rolling it out now, with Instagram stating more apps with Story integration are coming soon. There were reports that the service might add a video chat feature to the app and that's precisely what it has announced today.

Today is F8 (pronounced “eff eight”), which is Facebooks annual developer conference where Instagram has just announced a bunch of new features coming to the platform.

The firm is now testing out the new video chat feature, with plans to roll it out around the world soon.

More news: Whoops! F8 website crashes as Facebook's biggest event of the year starts

Facebook announced a new privacy feature called Clear History, which should give users more transparency about data that's collected while also giving you a degree of control.

To start a video chat, simply tap the new camera icon at the top of a Direct thread. Users are able to chat one-on-one or with a group, and can minimize the video and continue the chat while looking at other content on Instagram.

WhatsApp first brought video calling to WhatsApp back in 2016. That's because the smartphone's ability to display augmented realities has made it a flawless testbed for Facebook to build up its technology ahead of the computing platform it believes will make the idea worthwhile: AR headsets.

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The firm is also rolling out new interactive camera effects, and has overhauled its Explore tab to organize content into 'topic channels'. No, this feature is not for muting audio or video, instead it will allow users to mute posts from certain profiles in their feed, without having to unfollow them. That means you turn any video into a National Basketball Association dunkcam or add a cloud of hearts and Pomeranians to fluff up your photo. From there, they can edit and add to the Story or send it to a friend via direct messaging.

A Slow-Mo mode might also be coming to Instagram Stories, if Jane Manchun Wong's screenshots are anything to go by. If you find a topic you like, you can see related hashtags.

Face filters, text styles and stickers help turn casual moments into experiences you can't wait to share. As the Facebook scandal has taught us, sometimes a bit too much information.

More news: Technical chart analysis on Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)

After Instagram lifted Snapchat stories and made them better and more popular, the running joke is that anything Snapchat does, Instagram is likely to follow.

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