Scrolling through Instagram can be a lonely exercise, but the newly launched Co-Watching feature turns browsing your feed into a social activity.
Co-Watching lets friends on a video chat or group video chat peruse liked or saved public posts as well as posts that Instagram has recommended — not IGTV posts, though. And up to six people can Co-Watch at once.
According to TechCrunch, Instagram has been prototyping the Co-Watching feature since last year, and the launch was pushed forward in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It accompanies features such as the “Stay Home” sticker, coronavirus educational information, and donation stickers, promoting social distancing and relief efforts.
As well as encouraging users to stay at home, Instagram hopes the feature will fix its “time well-spent problem.” Endless scrolling in isolation isn’t great for mental health. But the explosion of online quarantine parties, rap battles, and NSFW sing-alongs have proven that technology can bring us together for the better.