According to TechCrunch, files in Instagram’s code suggest that the Facebook-owned app is planning to launch audio and video calling options, giving you more ways to stay in touch without leaving the platform.
This would add to Instagram’s popular direct messaging capabilities – which they’ve upgraded over the last 12 months, and would further compliment their live-stream guests option, which gives users a means to connect, in real time, through the app.
Instagram's Reportedly Looking to Add Voice and Video Calling Features | Social Media Today The potential use case for enhanced connection options on Insta is fairly clear – first, considering direct messages, where Instagram’s seen a significant rise in interest of late. More than 375 million people now using Instagram DMs each month – almost half the app’s total audience - while Instagram’s research also indicates that 85% of people's direct messages go to the same three friends.
That points to an intent to use the app for more intimate, immediate communication – voice and video calling both seem like obvious additions to this element.
The other aspect to consider is that Snapchat already has video calling, with audio notes, and recent data shows that personal communications between friends far more important to Snapchat users than posting to Stories.
If Instagram wants to continue putting the pressure on Snap, then adding more advanced, in-app calling options makes sense.
Worth noting too that Facebook has also seen significant growth in video calling on Messenger over the last year.