How to Use Portrait Mode on Instagram Video Chat in iOS 15

The new Portrait mode for video chat on iOS 15, launched on September 20, 2021, isn’t just for FaceTime; third-party apps like Instagram are also going into the dark.

Hey, we’re not complaining. Portrait mode only makes us look better, and if more video chat apps work with it, we’ll take it.

While I can’t say that Instagram is my favorite video chat method, it’s handy for reaching people who may not have FaceTime capabilities or Zoom accounts. And luckily for you, we’ve got a guide on how to turn on Portrait mode the next time you need to make an Instagram video call.

1. Open Instagram and go to the profile of the person you want to call.

The call button is fairly easy to find.
Credit: Screenshot: Instagram

Once on their profile, press the “Call” button which should appear next to the “Follow” and “Message” buttons.

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2. Select “Video Chat” from the pop-up window.

No possible way to use Portrait mode on an audio call, so make sure to press video.

No possible way to use Portrait mode on an audio call, so make sure to press video.
Credit: Screenshot: Instagram

Instagram will ask you if you want to make a video or audio call. Obviously we want the video option here.

3. Once they pick up and your call is in full swing, swipe up to bring up your iPhone Control Center.

New options!

New options!
Credit: Screenshot: Apple

Interestingly, the Portrait Mode setting isn’t in the Instagram app itself. Once you’ve opened up your action center, you should see two new boxes at the very top: Video Effects and Mic Mode.

Just push that little button.

Just push that little button.
Credit: Screenshot: Apple

Tap “Video Effects” and the area should expand. Then press the button to activate portrait mode.

4. Exit your action center and enjoy your blurry Instagram background.

And this is what it looks like with Portrait mode on Instagram!

And this is what it looks like with Portrait mode on Instagram!
Credit: Screenshot: Instagram

Nothing to focus on but your beautiful face!

This article was originally published in July 2021 and was updated in September 2021.


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