Instagram working on video and voice calling

Mar 5, 2018

We all know Instagram as a place for sharing photos and videos with our friends and fans. The app has slowly evolved into much more than that, following the integration of direct messages, stories, and live streaming features within the app. Now a recent teardown of the app’s Android application packages (APKs) has shown some mysterious files that are pointing towards more new features, precisely voice and video calls.

A certain Ishan Agarwal decompiled the latest version of the Instagram APK and found multiple files for video and voice calling within the package. APKs contain all of that app’s code and can show files for unreleased features waiting to be surfaced when the company is ready to launch them. So this latest leak can only mean Instagram is preparing to launch voice and video calling within its Direct messaging system.

Instagram has however refused to entertain the claims. “I’m afraid we can’t comment on this one,” TechCrunch quotes an Instagram spokesperson as saying.


The call icons found in Instagram’s APK. Image: Ishan Agarwal via TechCrunch


This is not the first time we are hearing about calling features being linked with Instagram. Back in January 2018, a video calling feature was spotted in a non-public version of Instagram by WhatsApp industry blog WABetaInfo. The company had refused to comment back then too, saying “we don’t comment on rumors and speculation.”

Instagram adding calling features will surely contribute to the stagnation in the growth of Snapchat. Instagram has been working hard to leapfrog Snapchat with new features like replay privacy controls that Snapchat lacks. Snapchat’s recent redesign has also been met with confusion and anger, so if Instagram adds calling features, it just adds another reason for users to stay within the app.

There's currently no official word on if and when voice and video calling will launch on Instagram. But given that Instagram has the capability, interest, and infrastructure for the features, it's only a matter of time, I guess.

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