What Marketers Need to Know About Instagram Group Video Chat

Instagram makes moves to keep you more connected. 

Instagram makes moves to keep you more connected. 

Instagram remains a dominant player in the social media game with new features and tools launching regularly.

We recently went in depth on how to best use their new service IGTV, but a new function of the app is more focused on how people use the photo/video/life sharing service. 

Instagram has officially made group video calling an option. They are pairing this function with the expansion of their Explore layout to more users and some new AR filter options. Read below to find out everything you need to know about the new services.


While Facebook is known as a platform for connecting people, Instagram has always felt less connected, more of a place to showcase your life through Sephia filtered glasses.

With the addition of a new group video chat feature, the photo sharing app is looking to go beyond direct messages. Now available to all users, this particular feature has been in the works for a while first being reported by TechCrunch back in March. 

The process for launching a group video chat on Instagram is pretty easy:

“To start a video chat, swipe into your Direct inbox and open any message thread. Tap the new camera icon in the right corner, and the video chat will ring your friends’ phones so they don’t miss it. While on the video chat, you can minimize the video and multitask on Instagram, sending messages and photos in Direct, browsing your feed, posting a story and more.”

The addition of group video chat makes sense for Instagram.

This service enhanced private conversations and positions the app to compete with many of the messaging tools available. 

While broadcasting your life anytime you want is a signature feature of Instagram, more and more users have been moving away from publically sharing everything, a moving more towards smaller more intimate groups for sharing.

More than 375 million of the app’s billion users now interact via messaging each month. Instagram research suggests that 85% of people’s messages in the app are shared with the same three friends. This makes sense as people tend to have close relationships with a core group of people. 

The ability to now communicate directly through video with three other people came from Instagram’s understanding on how millions use direct message daily. 

According to Instagram Live product manager Shilp Sarkar, the decision to is based off of user trends and the growth in popularity of group streaming apps like Houseparty, which raced to 20 million users. Back in 2016 when they launched Live Instagram found people using live-stream with friends more regularly. 

"The use case that caught our attention was people just hanging out on live, particularly young people. After school, they jump on a live-stream and hang out. That use of live [video] is particularly interesting to us.”

Facebook has already tapped into group video calls on Facebook Messenger and has even launched a Houseparty competitor called Bonfire which recently opened access to more users. 

For marketers, the new function will allow for some creative ways to build your influencer promotions. One possible suggestion is to create a competition for your influencers audience, allowing three lucky fans to win a DM live chat. This can create momentum for your promotion increasing likes and comments, and offering a low-cost exclusive experience that will get fans engaged with your campaign.  


Time will tell how the new function works it’s way into campaigns.

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