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Instagram launches thematic channels in Explore, video chat in direct and new camera effects

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Last month at the F8 developer conference, Facebook made a number of new announcements about upcoming features for Instagram. Yesterday, the company began to roll out the latest updates, which includes bringing video chat to Instagram Direct, a new batch of camera effects and theme channels in Explore.

Video chat in Instagram Direct allows four people at a time to chat by video as long as they are already connected in Direct. If a user has blocked or muted someone in Direct, that person will not be able to enter or start a video conversation via the platform.

New camera effects include filters designed by Ariana Grande, BuzzFeed, Liza Koshy, Baby Ariel and the NBA. To gain access to one of the new effects, users will have to follow the accounts concerned.

Although the new camera effects and video chat feature are primarily consumer-oriented features, the new Explore theme channels will have a greater impact on brands and influencers. Instagram uses Topic Channels to organize content in the Explore tab, where the content is organized according to the behavior of the user.

From the Instagram Press Blog:

With thematic channels, you can be more intentional about how you browse Explore. When you open the page, you will see a tray at the top with custom strings. This includes a "For You" channel, which offers a mix of posts tailored to your interests. You will also see themed chains [s] that you will like, like Art, Sports, Beauty or Fashion, as well as a list of hashtags.

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Instagram also gives users the ability to control thematic channels displayed in their "Explore" tab. A channel can be removed from a stream by pressing and holding the channel to select the "Mute" option. Instagram says that it will send the channel to the end of the "board" and that the channels can be turned off at any time. Users can also slide their finger on a channel to deepen the subject's content.

Before thematic channels, the Explorer tab was a collection of custom publications by Instagram to meet the interests of the user. Now that channels are in place, Instagram will be able to organize more content and organize them according to specific areas of interest – giving users the ability to delve deeper into specific topics, and brands and influencers over and over. Opportunities to see their content appear in front of users. who wants to see it.

About the author

Amy Gesenhues is the general reporter for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for land and search engine marketing. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning columnist for a number of dailies in New York, Texas. With over ten years of experience in marketing management, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more articles from Amy.


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