A new feature allowing Instagram users to share posts with each other over video call is now available. The Facebook owned social media platform rolled this feature in the hopes that it would ease feelings of isolation while people are in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instagram is calling the new feature “Co-Watching”. Essentially, the feature allows people be on a video chat or group video and browse through posts together. It allows for a a more social experience, and this could reduce feelings of isolation for those in quarantine or practicing social distancing.
“To help people stay connected, we’ve launched media sharing, a new feature that allows you to view Instagram posts together with your friends over video chat. You can start a video chat by tapping the video chat icon in the Direct inbox or in an existing Direct thread, then view saved, liked and suggested photos/videos by tapping the photo icon in the bottom left corner in an ongoing video chat,” said Instagram in a statement.
The feature has been in testing for a while, with the first mention of it being in April 2019. However, according to Business Insider, the decision was made to release it now to allow people to come together amid the global health crisis.
Instagram has also included some additional updates “to help people access accurate information, stay safe, and stay connected.”
Among these updates are educational messages that pop up when users search for anything related to the coronavirus. The message links users to resources from the World Health Organisation and local health ministries. Stickers are also being added to help increase the spread of accurate information.
Of course, the company is also taking steps to reduce misinformation.
Finally, they have added a “Stay Home” sticker. “Any accounts you follow who use the sticker will be added to a shared Instagram story, allowing you to see how others are practicing social distancing at this time,” they said in a statement.