(Pocket-lint) - Instagram has added new feature: Video chat.

Video chat in part of Instagram Direct, Instagram's direct messaging tool. With Video chat, you can call one person or a group in real time. It works with friends who are already on Instagram for iOS or Android and doesn't require a phone number. Here's how it works.

How to video chat with Instagram

  1. Tap the message arrow icon in the top right of Feed.
  2. Tap a username or group name to open the conversation.
  3. You can also start a new conversation by tapping the + icon in the top right and selecting people.
  4. Tap the video icon in the top right. The person or group you call will receive a notification.

So, to start a video chat, swipe into your Direct inbox and open any message thread. There will be a new camera icon in the right corner - tap it. This will call your friend (or up to four people at a time). If there’s an active video chat in a group thread, the camera icon will turn blue. While in the video chat, you can minimise the video in order to browse Instagram, send messages in Direct, post a story, and more.

You can also video chat as long as you want. When you’re done, tap the red phone icon at the bottom. Keep in mind that anyone you've accepted a direct message from can video chat with you. To prevent someone from video calling, you can block them or mute the conversation.

How to manage video chat notifications

If you'd like to control your video chat notifications, tap the gear icon on profile and find the new video chat control in Push Notifications. Go here to learn more about changing your push notification settings.

When will video chat be available?

It's now rolling out to Instagram for Android and iOS users.

Want to know more?

Check out Instagram's blog post or help hub.

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Writing by Maggie Tillman.