Instagram unveils Co-Watching, a feature to kill boredom for two

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Killing boredom by wasting time is even more fun for two. After all, this is what Instagram has to offer with the new “Shared Watch” feature released Tuesday, March 24th. As part of a large social media campaign against Covid-19, Instagram now offers the option to display photos with friends during video calls.

To launch co-watching, simply launch a video call from the Instagram application, and press the dedicated icon at the bottom right. You can then watch together photos or videos saved by you or those suggested by the application in your news feed. Not only does the interest of such an option seems limited to me, but it is above all its operation that worries me, Instagram has planned to reduce the bit rate on sharing and viewing video content during confinement.

Sharing containment

A way to interact live (thanks to video chat) with a friend with the content of your choice. So certainly, I have a little trouble seeing the value of a feature. But who knows, perhaps the zoomers feel the fundamental need to govern and above all hear themselves react to live photos. In these times of crisis, we are not going to spit on initiatives that encourage sharing while respecting the rules of social distancing.

As explained above, this novelty is part of an Instagram communication campaign around its efforts to combat the spread of the Covid-19. The company adjusts its service to encourage containment and allows its users to share their daily lives in this new reality.

We are talking about a social network, so do not expect anything transcendent. The main addition is indeed the placement of stickers “Stay at home.” Users can add them to enhance their stories. These contents are automatically added to a permanent story, entitled “At home”, visible in the first position on the home page. All the stories posted by the people you follow that contain the Stay at Home sticker are gathered in this permanent story.

Promote reliable information

Instagram also wants to facilitate access to official resources on the Covid-19. The aim is to provide users with information from benchmarks such as WHO, redirect it to official websites and disseminate good protection practices.

Again, nothing new. Google has also already attached banners redirecting to the WHO site under certain videos dealing with Covid-19 (while demonetizing all the videos dealing with near or far from the subject). Instagram will notably use dedicated inserts in search results for queries related to the coronavirus. A section at the top of the feed has already been offered for several weeks in countries affected by the pandemic.

Stickers dedicated to barrier gestures, making it possible to protect yourself and others, will soon be offered in the stories (reminders to wash your hands, awareness of social distancing). Instagram also announces that it has made several changes to reduce the spread of fake Covid-19 information within the app.

These are the deletion of identified content, the absolute priority given to content from health organizations recognized in the Explore tab, the deletion of content related to conspiracy theories that can harm people and the prohibition of fraudulent advertisements for products related to Covid-19. Instagram has also banned any augmented reality filters related to Covid-19.

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