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Instagram hopes to bring people in lockdown together with co-watching feature

The Facebook-owned app is also cracking down further on misinformation about Covid-19.


Instagram has launched a co-watching feature (Instagram/PA)

Instagram has launched a co-watching feature (Instagram/PA)

Instagram has launched a co-watching feature (Instagram/PA)

Instagram has added a new feature allowing people to view content on the platform in a video chat together in its latest attempt to alleviate loneliness during the coronavirus lockdown.

Co-watching means users on the app can add saved, liked and suggested photos or videos into the live conversation.

Users can do this by tapping the photo icon in the bottom left corner in an ongoing video chat.

It comes as owner Facebook ramps up its crackdown on coronavirus misinformation, saying it will now remove Covid-19 accounts from account recommendations, and is working to remove “some” Covid-19 related content from the Explore section, unless it is posted by a credible health organisation.

Those who search for information related to the virus will also start to see an educational message connecting them to resources from the NHS.

Coronavirus information on Instagram
Instagram directing users to NHS for official coronavirus information (Jamie Harris/PA)

“We will also start to downrank content in Feed and Stories that has been rated false by third-party fact checkers,” Instagram said.

The move follows recent efforts by the company to keep the public informed on the pandemic, including a Stay Home sticker, which allows people to share content of them practising social distancing.

Additional stickers, such as reminders to wash your hands and distance yourself from others, will be launched in the coming days, Instagram said.