Facebook Messenger, trying to further integrate video in its interface, announced the rollout of a new video chat feature, called Instant Video, on Thursday evening. Already a staple of popular messaging services, the new feature makes using video on the Messenger a smoother experience.
In the launch announcement, Facebook said: “Today we’re excited to announce Instant Video, which allows you to seamlessly add live video when you and a friend are both active in a conversation. Instant Video is great for sharing quick everyday moments or making your conversations richer by seeing each other face to face.”
So how will the new feature work? Pretty simple (assuming your phone has a front camera).
When you are chatting with a friend using Facebook Messenger, you will see a new button on the top right corner, in the navigation bar, that looks like a camera. When you are both on the chat window, the camera button will start to pulse. Tapping the button will start the video, which will show as a layer over the text conversation, off to one side.
Whoever you are chatting with has the option to just view your video, or stream their video to you as well. If they choose the latter option, your own video will become a smaller inset box within the larger video of your friend. If you have used other video chatting apps, like Skype or Google Hangouts, you will be familiar with this.