With many people around the world practicing social distancing to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Instagram is rolling out a handful of new updates that make it easier to stay connected on the app. For example, Instagram's new Co-Watching feature is the perfect way to tune in to some of your favorite accounts with your BFFs. Here's how to get the update to make scrolling through your Feed a social activity.
On Tuesday, March 24, the tech giant revealed a new video feature called Co-Watching, which basically replicates scrolling through your Feed with a friend by your side — except now it's a virtual experience over video chat. To get started, head to your Direct Message inbox or a DM conversation that you already have with the person (or group of people) you want to video chat with.
Once you've started a video chat with the person or the group by selecting the video chat icon, you'll see a photo icon in the bottom left-hand corner. If you tap that button, you'll both be able to access photos and videos you've saved and liked as well as a selection of suggested content you'll be able to browse through together.
To make any one of these posts visible to everyone on the video call, all you have to do is select it and opt to share it with the group. You can then choose to comment on, like, or re-share the video or photo to your Instagram Story in real time.
This is just one of the many new ways that you can connect with your friends on Instagram amidst the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Instagram also announced a "Stay Home" sticker to draw awareness to how its users are practicing social distancing and keeping themselves busy while self-quarantining during this time.
You can view the "Stay Home" story in your Stories queue at the top of your phone, which highlights users sharing how they're self-quarantining. For a chance to get on the main "Stay Home" Story, you can post a photo or video to your Story with the "Stay Home" sticker, which you can find in the Story features — the little square with a smiley face at the top of your screen in your Instagram Camera.
These new features, in addition to a "Donate" button, are all available on the social media platform as of March 24, so you'll want to make sure you update your app and check them out.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.