In yet another deeper push into video, Facebook today is rolling out a new update to its Messenger app that adds a new live video button into every chat window. Social networks have been “inspired by” Snapchat more than once in the last few months, and it appears that Facebook has been struck by inspiration once again this week as it introduces Instant Video to Facebook Messenger. Although video chatting has been a part of the messaging service since last year, Instant Video gives users the ability to place a video call from a window within the message thread.
When used, Facebook users will begin live streaming in a small pop-up window with sound turned off by default, allowing them to keep texting with the person on the other end while sharing visual details of their location that might be easier through video rather than simple text. It’s incredibly easy to start an Instant Video.
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If both you and your friend are viewing a conversation, the video camera icon in the upper right corner of the screen will begin to pulse. Tap it, and a live video stream will be initiated immediately on your friend’s screen. Your friend can choose to share video back as well.
Facebook is calling the new feature “Instant Video,” and says it represents “a reflection of the ubiquity of video” that’s expected in most messaging apps nowadays. Rather than a full-on video chatting experience, the social network hopes for Instant Video to be a companion to traditional texting.
Instant Video is a reflection of the ubiquity of video — we simply expect to have that ability in real-time, all the time. With Instant Video, you can bring your conversations to life in the most authentic way — seamlessly and instantly. It’s perfect for sharing quick moments with friends who aren’t right by your side or making your conversations richer by seeing each other face-to-face when you are messaging.
Sometimes you want to ask a friend’s opinion on a pair of shoes you want to buy, weigh in on what ice cream flavor they should bring home, or just want to see your BFF’s reaction to your witty message when you’re in a place where you can’t actually talk live.
Facebook sees the new update as another example of its attempt “to solve real problems for real people.” Instant Video is available today for Facebook Messenger on iOS and Android. Be sure to update to the latest version before you attempt to use the feature.