The analysis of the Instagram code has revealed several files that point to possible future functions of voice and video calls, reports TechCrunch. The files are labeled "call" and "video call" with phone and camera icons, and are present in the application bundles (APK) of the application. The APKs contain all the code of that application and can show files for unpublished functions that are already present in the application but have not yet been released.
If the features are activated, Instagram would be an even bigger threat for Snapchat. Snapchat also has video calls, but it is somewhat hidden: you have to touch a friend's profile and select the call button on your specific chat screen. (Messenger, on the other hand, has a dedicated call button on the application's home screen). The recent redesign of Snapchat has also been met with confusion and anger, so if Instagram can simplify the call option, it simply adds another reason for users to remain within the Instagram application.
The call icons are in the Instagram APK. Image: Ishan Agarwal through TechCrunch.
It is known that Instagram captures the functions of Snapchat as ephemeral videos and photos (Instagram Stories already has more users than Snapchat). Snapchat's call feature allows you to wear AR lenses, which overlays your face with things like dog ears or wreaths. Instagram already has its own selfie lenses, so it might be logical to expect that overlapping lenses in video calls are also a feature of Instagram video calls.
There is still no indication of when voice and video calls will be launched.