Now that everyone has to remain at home for extended periods of time, any service that lets you connect with your friends has seen a dramatic rise in users. Snap Inc's Snap camera —an application that lets you use Snapchat filters on your video calls and Twitch streams— has seen a 10x rise in downloads. Browser extensions such as Netflix Party that let you watch Netflix with your friends have also gained a lot of traction. Now, Instagram has launched what it calls a 'co-watching' feature that lets you...browse Instagram with your friends?
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.
To co-watch something with your buddies, simply start a video chat as you would regularly with a friend and group of friends. You can then browse through the platform via the tap of a button. The idea behind 'co-watching' is that it lets you and your friends browse through the platform together. It is one of many measures enacted by social media companies to help users connect at a time when social distancing is encouraged.
Once the epidemic blows over, co-watching will very likely be here to stay. It is quite a useful feature for when one doesn't want to stare at a screen alone, and we can expect the feature to make its way to other Facebook products soon. Facebook was even testing this feature at one point, and this could very well be a result of that nearly three-year-old-experiment.