What you need to know
- Instagram is taking steps to combat coronavirus misinformation by removing posts rated false by third-party fact-checkers, and banning misleading ads.
- It also launched a new feature called Co-Watching, which allows you to browse posts together with your friends while in a video chat.
- Donation stickers have been made available in more countries along with a new "Stay Home" sticker to promote sheltering in place.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are sheltering in place miles away from our friends and family. As we all adjust to this new solitary lifestyle, some companies such as Instagram are finding new ways for us to interact together remotely.
With its new Co-Watching feature, Instagram will now allow you to browse posts with your friends while in a video chat. To try it out for yourself, first, start a video chat with your friends, and then tap on the photo icon in the bottom left. Afterward, you'll be able to browse saved, liked, and recommended posts together.
It may not be as fun as browsing together in person, but at least you'll be able to further close the gap between you and your friends.
Along with finding new ways for us to spend time together, Instagram is also taking measures to fight misinformation on COVID-19. For starters, when searching for "coronavirus" or "COVID-19," there will be a new educational alert at the top. The alert sends you directly to the CDC.gov site for reliable information on the pandemic. The top results also include verified accounts from the World Health Organization and Unicef. You might have also seen the notice at the top of your feed recently, which links to resources on the coronavirus run by health experts and organizations.
Additionally, Instagram began banning misleading ads for products claiming to cure or prevent the spread of COVID-19, along with a temporary ban on branded content for items such as face masks or hand sanitizer. To further prevent the spread of misinformation in your feed, Instagram has begun removing posts from Explore and hashtag pages that have been rated false by third-party fact-checkers. Conspiracy theories and false claims flagged by health organizations will also be removed.
Finally, Instagram is making donation stickers available in more countries and adding a COVID-19 section along with a "Stay Home" sticker to promote sheltering in place.