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Cameras

Instagram adds Spotify, GoPro integration, video chat, AR camera effects

The updates aim to make it a better way to communicate and build stronger relationships with friends, family and followers.

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AR camera effects are coming to Instagram.

Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

At F8, Facebook's developer conference, on Tuesday Instagram rolled out a bunch of new features and enhancements to make it a better place to share, connect and explore.  

GoPro users, for instance, will now have a direct link to post to Instagram Stories from the GoPro app. In just a few taps, you'll be able to select, edit and share clips and photos to an Instagram Story or send it via Instagram Direct. With the Spotify app, Instagram Product Manager Jyoti Sood said you'll have the option to share stickers of songs or playlists you're listening to. (You can share this way to Facebook as well.) This adds another way to share even when you don't necessarily have a photo or video to post. 

Instagram will also add augmented reality camera effects, which were brought to Facebook last year. The camera effects will be designed by Instagram partners (it's in a closed beta at the moment) and will only show up in the cameras of their followers, Sood said. 

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For example, if you're one of the 8.6 million followers of "the most famous animal in the world," @jifpom, you'll have access to his special AR camera effects. Because this is the world now. Nonfollowers will be able to find and try on the effects through any of their friends' stories using the effect, or any of their direct messages using it.

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Instagram Live gets video chat.

Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

Instagram Live fans will be able to have direct private video chats now, too. There's no need to download a separate app or get your friends to join a new service. You can minimize the people you're chatting with and continue to search and explore Instagram -- but people you chat with can't see your screen. You can share things you find directly to whomever you're chatting with, however. The feature is in testing and rolling out in the coming weeks, according to Product Manager Shilpa Sarkar.

A better way to explore

More than 100 million people worldwide are following hashtags since Instagram added the feature last December. Building on that success, the new Explore design is adding topic channels to uncover content on your personal interests and tastes, as well as offer more control over content. 

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Topics are being added to Instagram's new Explore design. 

Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

"Explore has always been powered by artificial intelligence," said Tamar Shapiro, data science manager for analytics. Instagram will be augmenting its AI with content classification and curation signals from the community to provide a more tailored experience, she said.

Shapiro ended by saying Instagram is committed to making Instagram a safe and supportive space. Building on the comment filter added last year, there will now be a bullying filter to hide language intended to harass or upset people. 

See everything from Facebook's F8 Developer Conference here.