With everyone stuck at home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, tech giants are now coming up with innovative new ways to keep the users engaged. Instagram has added a myriad of new features to its photo-sharing app today. They will not only help curb the spread of misinformation but also give users new ways to connect with each other.
One of the most engaging features that has made its way to Instagram is Co-Watching. It’s all in the name but to clarify, you can “view Instagram posts together with your friends over video chat” using this feature. The process is simple. Just place a video call to your friend (or group of friends) and once it connects, a new ‘Media’ icon will appear at the bottom right. Tap on this icon to browse together your liked, saved or recommended posts.
Instagram has also added ‘Stay Home’ stickers that you can add to your stories to promote social distancing. This is just one of the many stickers that the company has plans to add to the camera UI. You will soon see stickers with reminders to wash your hands, distance yourself from others, and more.
In addition, you must have already seen two new features in action. One is a notice that appears at the top of the feed and the other is an educational message that shows up at the top when you search for Coronavirus on Instagram. Both of these lead to resources from WHO and local health ministry, which is great. But, third-party fact-checkers and a reporting system has been put in place to stop users from peddling misinformation/ fake news.
While most of the new features are already live for us (app version #18.104.22.168.121) at Beebom, there’s one that hasn’t found its way to India just yet. And that’s the Donation Sticker that you can add to your Stories. It’s being rolled out to additional countries and will enable users to donate funds in the fight against Coronavirus.