Instagram has added a new feature called co-watching, which will allow users to surf Instagram posts together via video chat. This announcement comes alongwith several others related to the pandemic, including an educational resource on the platform connecting people looking for information on the Coronavirus with the World Health Organisation, and credible local health organisations, new stickers, removal of inaccurate COVID-19 related content, among others.
The co-watching feature on Instagram can be accessed by starting a video chat using the icon in the Direct inbox or an existing thread. Once the video chat has started, users will be able to view saved, liked and suggested photos and videos via the photo icon at the bottom left corner in the active video chat window.
Following the update, Instagram will be rolling out several stickers, including a ‘stay home’ and ‘donation’ sticker to boost the efforts to fight the pandemic, which is spreading quickly with over 200,000 reported cases worldwide. Users will also see a decrease in the number of COVID-19 accounts appearing in recommendations and pandemic-related content in the ‘Explore’ tab will only feature posts from credible health organisations. Content rated false by their third-party fact-checkers will also be downranked in feeds, stories, explore and hashtag searches. Misleading ads for products related to the Coronavirus has also been prohibited.
These features will be available over the coming weeks globally.
“Since the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency in January, we’ve taken steps to help people access accurate information, stay safe, and stay connected. We will continue to prioritise safety, connecting people with accurate information, and encouraging support as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves. We’re closely monitoring the situation and regularly sharing updates at about.fb.com/coronavirus,” the company explained.
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