Instagram has long been a popular social media app, mostly because of its simple native photo-editing options. You can then share these images—and videos, of course—with friends (called “followers,” here) and now post stories about your adventures. Like other apps, though, you can also direct message people for private chatting conversations as well as live share your current activity.
Yes, this can make it similar to Facebook in some ways.
But it looks like Instagram might also be similar to Snapchat, too. Apparently there is an APK file deeply embedded in the code which contains several different icons typically associated with calls and video calls. Indeed, these hidden icon designs and layouts are certainly exclusive to Instagram’s existing aesthetic with some layouts already hinting at calls and video calls.
Of course, there has not been any direct indication when these features might drop, but since Snapchat has already let it be known of its move to offer these features, Instagram may want to get off the blocks faster to maintain its lead in the industry.
Regardless of Snapchat’s shift, voice and video chats seem like a natural fit for Instagram. Its new owner, Facebook, obviously has a firm grip on the importance of chat functions native to its own app. After all, Facebook Messenger has millions of users, daily, who appreciate not only the text chat but make video and voice calls as well. With similar abilities, Instagram could certainly encourage its current users to spend more time on Instagram (as they might, for example, log off Instagram and log into Facebook) to make these video calls.
At the same time, there is certainly something to be said that Instagram Stories are very similar to Snapchat’s launch features. Both of these allow for users to take photos and videos and then string them together like a slide show, which they can then broadcast to their followers, before they disappear in 24 hours.
But at the end of the day, users will be the deciding factor. Should Instagram decide to launch this feature, users still might not take to it. After all, we already have dozens of ways to make phone calls and video chat. And while this generation has been quick in the early adoption of many new apps, replacing one app with another one that is very similar—and not necessarily better—is not a common habit.