Instagram wants you to feel comfortable as you video-call your friends during the coronavirus quarantine, so it’s introducing a feature that lets you check out posts together.
Co-watching, as the company calls it, essentially makes it possible to pull up any post directly in group video chats. Once in a conference call, all you need to do is click the Posts icon at the bottom of your screen, and select the post you want to share. It’ll then show up for everyone else in the video chat.
Here’s what it looks like:
Look, I’ve personally never video-called anyone on Instagram, so I doubt I’ll use this feature. Scrolling through my feed is supposed to be an intimate experience. Sure, I might occasionally share a link to a post with friends, but adding a dedicated button for video chats seems like overkill to me.
But that’s okay. People use apps differently, and Instagram seems to think there’s a market for co-watching — especially during the coronavirus outbreak. In the end, it doesn’t hurt to have the option. Indeed, it might come in handy to share posts in a call to add more context to something you’re already chatting about.
Anyway, that’s not the only coronavirus-inspired feature Instagram has introduced today.
The company has also added a dedicated coronavirus section in its donation sticker, so users can quickly identify relevant nonprofits. Here’s what it looks like:
Facebook has rolled out a bunch of coronavirus-themed features across its apps in the past few weeks.
Two weeks ago, Instagram revealed it’ll be displaying coronavirus tips and advice prominently in your feed. WhatsApp also recently launched a COVID-19 information center where users can easily access information about the virus from trusted sources. Indeed, the Facebook app got a similar update.