Instagram Launches Co-Watching As Part Of Its Campaign Against COVID-19
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Instagram has just launched a co-scroll feature to help you survive the quarantine. According to Tech Crunch
, it is officially known as Co-Watching; the feature lets friends (or followers) on a video chat go through posts related to a user’s activity. Co-Watching allegedly allows people to react to social media content in groups of two or more; this would mean that the pastime would no longer be a solo hobby.
This is part of Instagram’s response against the coronavirus. This includes the “Stay Home” sticker, the removal of unofficial COVID-19 accounts and content, and the donation sticker so people may request for “contributions to relevant nonprofits.” Highsnobiety
explains that Instagram has been prototyping the feature since 2019. The movement also promotes social distancing—about six feet of space between people— and “relief efforts.” This is best seen during the social media giant’s press release, where they start by saying
“Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency in January, we’ve taken steps to help people access accurate information, stay safe, and stay connected.”
The Facebook-owned app also seems to be getting back-up. Not only are they removing false COVID 19 content, but they have also created a novel alert that shows up at the beginning of search results; it connects users with resources from the World Health Organization (WHO), said an article from The Verge.
In addition, the app will go as far as to downgrade the reputation of content that doesn’t meet the expectations of third-party fact-checkers.
But How Does It Work?
argues that it is quite easy. The site states that all the user needs to do is to initiate a video chat via direct message. After setting up said video chat, one of the two parties taps the image on the bottom left of the screen. Finally, all will be able to look at the Instagram-recommended posts together; it is as if the group were all scrolling through the same feed on the same device.
And The Rest Of The Pioneers…?
Instagram isn’t the only one making strides to end the metaphorical deaths of self-isolation. The streaming media God, also known as Netflix, has just released a similar feature called Netflix Party. As told by Digital Trends
, This attribute lets people watch Netflix content with friends and chat while doing so. For usage, Netflix Party must be downloaded from Chrome and the option will be shown when streaming starts to play. Just like Co-Watching, it is a sane way of practicing social distancing currently.
While Netflix Party translates to movie night, Instagram’s Co-Watching presents a minor problem. Choosing to browse the app with friends—and maybe family—deprives people of a sense of privacy. Not only is the app aware of its user’s Explore history, but other people will also have access to your account. The content that’d be viewed is those Liked and Saved; meaning that the feature would only work if people have nothing to hide. Nevertheless, the exposure might also add some comic effect to the whole experience, so who knows? It could be fun.
By Argenis Ovalles, Managing Editor of Curiosity Shots
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