With everyone working from home and missing out on updates and interactions with others, Instagram is adding a new feature that will help users connect through video chat. It will also have the option to scroll through the Instagram feed while being connected through the video link.
The new feature named ‘Co-Watching’ will allow users to search and share content with groups within Instagram, which enables participatory engagement on the content present on Instagram.
Instagram explained the new feature:
“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.“
The difference is, you won’t be able to scroll through the regular feed of Instagram that you can do while you are just browsing thought your account feed. But you can create a list of content that you can discuss in a chat by either liking the content or saving the posts that you can access in-stream.
Instagram revealed that they have been working on this feature for some time now. Around last year in April, also, reverse engineer spotted this feature being tested.
It looks like Instagram has fastened the development process of the tool amid COVID-19 lockdown. The final version will enable up to six users to join in compared to the test version, where only two users could join at a time, just like the Squad app, which offered the same functions and gained a lot of popularity in 2019.
And we believe that this app is going to be popular. There are times when you are browsing through the internet and come across content that you think your peers or your friends might like or appreciate. You either have to share such content with them or hand over your phone to them so they could see what you found. Co-watching will essentially eliminate the need for these steps. People can share these things and continue to socialize at the same time. It’s like showing your favorite things to a wider audience while you browse through the content.
And we need more of such options since people are isolated, they can’t share jokes or go for a walk. People need social outlets; otherwise, they can lose connection with the part of themselves that makes them who they are.
If people have means that allow them to stay in touch in an engaging way that also includes other elements like video chats can be beneficial in the time to come since none of us know whether it’ll be weeks or months.
If you take the marketing aspect of this addition, it is meant to boost engagement with a small number of people. For example, this could be done by saving a collection of posts from your company, that can be discussed with top fans via Co-Watching feature.