‘Instant Video’ Facebook’s Latest Snapchat-like Feature

Following the likes of Snapchat, Instagram and Google Duo, Facebook has now launched a new feature called “Instant Video”.

This isn’t the first time Facebook or one of its apps has taken cues from Snapchat. Instagram Stories arrived in August to compile images and videos in a format that’s very similar to Snapchat’s own Story feature.

Facebook Messenger has significantly more users than Snapchat. But obviously, Snapchat’s popularity has got Zuckerberg and co thinking.

Facebook Messenger has already had a FaceTime-like video chat option since May 2015. But the latest add-on to the app is going to up it’s game by letting you share video from a window inside the chat box.

Facebook’s Blog Post

Video calling is still relatively new, and until recently, reserved for special occasions. Instant video is a reflection of the ubiquity of video – we simply expect to have that ability in real-time, all the time.

Facebook suggests that instant video might come in handy while asking a friend’s opinion about a pair of shoes you’re considering buying, or “what ice cream flavour to bring home,” or watching a friend’s reaction to your messages.

But Snapchat already has it and is doing quite well with it. So, its not clear if Facebook messenger will be able to beat Snapchat’s popularity.

Facebook Messenger has significantly more users than Snapchat. (Photo Courtesy:Facebook)


How It Works

One has to first make sure that both the sender and the recipient have the latest version of the Messenger app on either Android or iOS.

Then you can tap on the video icon in the top right corner of the app to start sharing real-time video, while you’re in the conversation.

Audio is off by default because sometimes you just need to see something, not hear it – but sound can easily be turned on if needed.

The sender’s video will float over the active text conversation that they continue while viewing the video.
The recipient can watch their video stream and share a video back if they’d like.