Instagram’s video chat and new custom AR filters look promising


Instagram’s new video chatting feature, its custom AR filters designed by third parties like celebrities and influencers, and the new Explore tab redesign are all set to take over your smartphones.

Video chatting can be initiated from the Instagram Direct tab with either one other person or in a group of up to four people total. It will only work with people you already have an active Direct thread with, which requires both parties to respond. The Explore redesign is also turning the search tab into a topic-focused area where you scroll through categories like “animals” or “architecture,” as well as trending hashtags.

For the first time, Instagram is letting third parties create AR filters for Stories, and it’s starting the launch with ones from Ariana Grande, the NBA, and BuzzFeed, among others.

An issue with Spectacles is now fixed by Snap

Snap has made another major update to Spectacles that finally addresses one of the biggest issues with the camera-enabled glasses: the videos are too hard to watch outside of Snapchat.

The app now lets you export photos and videos from Spectacles as either square or widescreen clips, in addition to its proprietary circular format. The change will affect both versions of Spectacles and will apply to new and old photos and videos shot with the glasses. All you have to do is get the latest version of the Snapchat app and the new export options will appear in Memories.