Instagram's Video Chat Limited to Six People

Instagram's Video Chat Limited to Six People

Instagram has upped its video chat limit in Direct to six, from a previous four. The addition comes after the first rollout of the feature in June and brings it a little closer to its rivals.

Snapchat, for example, supports 16-person calls, while Facetime has up to 32. Though it doesn’t come close to those numbers, the feature should be enough for small friendship groups, without resulting in tiny little windows on a phone.

Instagram also lets you browse its app while in a video call, displaying an even smaller picture-in-picture square that just wouldn’t work with more people. The feature can be found in the direct message inbox and works exactly the same as before, automatically adjusting the screen as people join.

If you’re looking to have a conversation without certain people in the group chat, you can mute a member.

WhatsApp Video Calling

Of course, Instagram is owned by Facebook, who also owns WhatsApp. WhatsApp got similar functionality in July but also supports end-to-end encryption. However, the app only supports up to four people, so Instagram is strangely ahead in that area.

Meanwhile, Facebook Messenger supports 6 on-screen simultaneously, but switches to showing the dominant speaker once the limit is exceeded. With this method, it can support up to 50 people, far more than any of the competition.

Instagram's extended video call limit will make it far more useful in group chat scenarios but still doesn't hold a candle to Facebook Messenger, Facetime, or Snapchat.


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