Instagram is launching new features in an effort to encourage users to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The first feature, launched over the weekend, is an aptly-named “Stay Home” shared story to promote social distancing.
The second feature, announced today, allows friends to browse Instagram together over video chat.
Here’s more information about each of these new initiatives launched by Instagram.
‘Stay Home’ Shared Story
Users can add a new “Stay Home” sticker to stories to show others how they’re spending their time while social distancing.
Those who use the sticker will have their stories added to a shared story, which lets other users view all stories with the “Stay Home” sticker in one place.
Today we’re launching a new “Stay Home” sticker that you can find in Stories. If you use the sticker, your photo or video will be added to a shared Instagram story where people can see how you're staying home and staying safe ❤ pic.twitter.com/MtU3d4bKKq
— Instagram (@instagram) March 21, 2020
The “Stay Home” sticker is currently available for everyone to use on either iOS or Android.
Here are some ideas for how to best use the new sticker:
- Professionals: Show your followers some work-from-home tips to maximize productivity and adapt to a new working environment.
- Parents: Show how you’re adapting to having your kids home from school and offer tips to other parents.
- Fitness enthusiasts: With gyms closed around the nation, this is an opportunity to share at-home fitness tips with others.
- Freelancers: Do you work from home on a regular basis? Great! Share what you’ve learned so others can benefit from your experience.
Of course, you can use the sticker however you want. Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head.
Speaking of stickers, Instagram is adding other helpful stickers that include reminders to wash hands and maintain a safe distance from other people.
The “Stay Home” sticker is available now, and other COVID-19 stickers will be available in the coming days.
Co-Watching With Friends
Co-watching is a new feature that allows users to view Instagram posts together.
Multiple friends can connect via video chat and and browse content as a group.
On paper this sounds a bit unconventional, as people do not typically get together and browse each other’s Instagram feeds.
However, the times we’re living in are anything but normal, so we may end up seeing more innovative ideas like this to keep people connected.
Users can start a video chat by tapping on the video chat icon in the DM inbox or in an existing DM thread.
From there, friends can view saved, liked, and suggested photos/videos by tapping the photo icon in the bottom left corner in an ongoing video chat.
Additional COVID-19 Initiatives From Instagram
The “Stay Home” sticker and Co-Watching are two of the latest initiatives from Instagram, but they’re certainly not the only ones.
Instagram has been taking steps to help people stay safe and connected since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency in January.
Other initiatives include:
- More educational resources in Instagram search results.
- Adding stickers to promote accurate information.
- Removing COVID-19 content and accounts from recommendations, unless posted by a credible health organization
- Rolling out the donation sticker in more countries and helping people find relevant nonprofits to support.
Source: Instagram Blog