Understanding Instagram Calls: Do They Cost Money?

Instagram has rapidly evolved from a simple photo-sharing app to a comprehensive social media platform with myriad functionalities.

Among these enhanced features is the ability to make voice and video calls, providing users with another layer of connectivity beyond sharing images and text.

This article delves into the details of this feature, breaking down its inner workings, usage, and any costs that might be associated with it. The different sections provide insight into Instagram’s functions, dynamics of Instagram calls, and potential charges, providing a holistic overview for any users seeking to fully exploit this social media tool.

Instagram And Its Functionalities

Overview of Instagram

Instagram is a popular social media platform that allows users to share photos, videos, and stories with their followers. It’s a visually driven platform that offers a host of features designed to help people connect and share their lives.

Instagram’s Calling Feature

One such feature is Instagram’s calling function, which includes both voice and video calls.

This feature is included as part of Instagram Direct, the platform’s messaging service.

It allows users to have real-time conversations, quite similar to traditional phone calls or other internet-based calling services like Skype or Facetime.

The Cost of Instagram Calls

Instagram’s calling feature doesn’t, on its own, cost any money.

The app is free to download and use, including its voice and video calling features.

You can call any other Instagram user who follows you or whom you’ve chatted with, regardless of their geographical location, without incurring any charges from Instagram.

The Role of Data Usage

However, it’s important to note that these calls do use data. If you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, these calls won’t consume your mobile data.

But if you’re using mobile data to make or receive Instagram calls—especially video calls which use more data—you may see an increase in your data consumption.

If your mobile data plan is limited and you exceed your allowance, you may face additional charges from your mobile service provider.

So, while Instagram doesn’t charge you for the calls, the calls could still end up costing money depending on your wireless plan and data usage.

Wifi Vs Data

If you are conscious about the potential cost of data usage, you could consider using these communications features only when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network. This would make Instagram calling entirely free.

Instagram Premium Features

Although Instagram itself is a free app, it is part of the larger Facebook (Meta) ecosystem.

Some premium features or services associated with Facebook may carry a cost. However, these are not typically tied to basic functionalities like calling or messaging on Instagram.

In essence, there should be no worry about Instagram calls resulting in additional charges on your bill.

While the calls themselves are free, they can consume data if you’re not using a Wi-Fi network, which may lead to costs depending on your data plan.

An image showing Instagram's logo with a camera and gradient background.

How Instagram Calls Work

Detailed Insight on Instagram Calls

Instagram, widely recognized for its photo-sharing capabilities, also offers its users the opportunity to communicate through voice and video calls. These calls can be initiated within Instagram itself, without requiring external applications.

Instagram has streamlined its calling feature by initially introducing it in Direct Messages (DMs) and later integrating it into Instagram Live.

On top of individual calls in direct messages, Instagram also facilitates group calls.

These group interactions can accommodate as many as 32 participants in a single call. It’s super convenient and ensures you can keep in touch with your social circle.

Do Instagram Calls Cost Money?

Contrary to what you might think, Instagram calls do not cost money. Instagram’s voice and video calling features are free to use, such is the case with many other social media platforms.

This feature is part of Instagram’s service and is included when you download and sign up for the app.

However, it should be noted that while Instagram itself does not charge for the calls, they do use data. If you’re not connected to WiFi, your mobile data will be used and charges may apply depending on your carrier’s plan, especially if it’s a video call given they generally use more data.

How to Make Instagram Calls

To make a call on Instagram, simply open a direct message with the person or group you want to call and click on the video camera icon (for video calls) or the phone icon (for voice calls) in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

For Instagram Live, the process is slightly different. You start the live video normally, and then invite the person you want to talk with by clicking on the “invite” button. The invitee will be notified and can join your live video session.


In essence, Instagram has carved a niche for itself as a unique platform that enables users to connect via voice or video calls within the app itself. Interestingly, these call features by Instagram are not monetized and hence, have become an appealing choice for quite a large number of users. However, it’s worth noting that these calls do utilize data and if they exceed the limit of your data plan, additional charges may apply.

Illustration of two people having a video call on Instagram

Cost Implications of Instagram Calls

Instagram Calls: Are They Free?

To put it succinctly, Instagram does not charge its users for using the inherent video or voice call functions that are part of its direct messaging system within the app.

So, when you’re conversing with your loved ones using Instagram’s call services, it’s comforting to know that there won’t be any specific fees added to an Instagram bill—as there actually is no Instagram bill to speak of.

Data Usage and Costs

All of that being said, you will need an active internet connection—either via mobile data or Wi-Fi in order to make calls on Instagram. Now, these sources could potentially cost you money. If you’re connected to Wi-Fi, especially at home or in a free hotspot, you likely won’t see any additional charge.

However, if you’re using mobile data and you either have a limit or pay for the data you use, then making calls on Instagram could result in an increase in your mobile phone bill. Particularly if you’re making video calls. Video calls use more data than voice-only calls, which means they can be a quick way to exhaust your data allowance if you’re not careful.

Hidden Charges and Instagram

Instagram itself doesn’t have hidden charges related to its calling features. However, if you’re making a call on Instagram to another country, you won’t be charged international calling rates by Instagram.

Instead, it will simply use your data as it typically would. Again, if you’re using Wi-Fi or have unlimited data, this probably won’t concern you.


So, while Instagram calls don’t inherently cost money, they do use data, which can potentially cost money depending on your mobile or Wi-Fi plan.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re making Instagram calls using data while abroad, you may have to pay additional roaming charges depending on your mobile carrier’s policy.

Always check with your carrier to understand any potential data costs, particularly if you plan to use the Instagram call feature frequently or while traveling.

A person holding a smartphone with the Instagram logo on the screen, representing making calls on Instagram and potential costs.

When navigating the fast-paced world of Instagram, an understanding of all its features, including the ability to make calls, is indispensable.

This tool not only enriches the interactive capabilities of Instagram but also avails a low-cost way of communication over the Internet.

While it’s clear that no direct charges apply to Instagram calls, users must bear in mind that these calls use data, which can add to costs indirectly.

Therefore, users are advised to use this feature judiciously, factoring in their Internet package and availability of Wi-Fi.

Ultimately, the advantages offered by Instagram’s calling feature underscore the platform’s commitment to enhancing user experience and interactivity.

What do you think?

Written by Maeve Rodriguez

Maeve is a Business Content Writer and Front-End Developer. She's a versatile professional with a talent for captivating writing and eye-catching design.

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