New Instagram code appears to suggest future voice and video calling features could be added. It has previously been rumored that Instagram would eventually bake video calls into its application, but now, thanks to new files hidden inside its Android application package, the feature looks set to arrive earlier than originally expected, and it will be accompanied by voice calls too.
Looking at the files, three call-related icons can clearly be seen, with each one being offered in four different resolutions. In relation to traditional voice calls, two different icons are included, one of which will most likely be placed inside the Instagram app’s UI, while the other will appear in the notification tray to signal that a call is taking place. Likewise, Instagram has also included a video call icon that will be placed in the Instagram UI, although no separate icon has been included for when a call is taking place. In either case, both video and voice calls are expected to be accessible via Instagram’s Direct messaging, giving users the option to call individual friends. However, it’s yet to be confirmed if group calls will be available at launch, or if users will be limited to one-on-one communication. For now, though, the eventual features will help to improve Instagram’s greater focus on user communication. After all, the social network recently introduced a number or replay privacy options, as well as connection statuses, allowing users to know when their friends are online or how long ago their most recent connection was. In addition to all of this, the new calling features should allow Instagram to once again compete with Snapchat more directly.
The Snap-owned application recently introduced a number of design changes that weren’t received positively, but nonetheless put a huge focus on messaging and video calling within the app in the hope of increasing user engagement. If Instagram can successfully implement the same features, though, it could begin converting more stubborn Snapchat users that haven’t deemed the Instagram Stories feature important enough to switch platforms altogether. It’s still unclear when or if Instagram plans to implement such features within the app at some point, but the presence of icons that appear to be directed at such features would suggest as much.