Instagram's new Co-Watching feature is built for social distancing

Keep in touch with friends at a distance.

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A new feature lets Instagram practice social distancing while still chatting with friends. 

James Martin/CNET

Instagram  on Tuesday provided more details on what it's doing to keep users updated and safe during the coronavirus outbreak, including a new feature that lets friends look at pictures with each other while keeping their distance. 

Co-Watching is a new Instagram feature that allows people to browse posts together via video chat. Users will need to start a video chat to access Co-Watching. From there, they can view saved, liked and suggested photos and videos with each other by tapping the photo icon in the bottom left corner of the chat. 

Instagram co-watching

There's no need to browse Instagram alone.


Along with the new feature, Instagram added more stickers both to inform others of best practices during the pandemic and to help charities. Users can post sticks to share info about behaviors such as washing hands and keeping a safe distance during the pandemic. The Stay Home sticker can be used to show how people are practicing social distancing, and these posts will be added to a shared Instagram story. Donation stickers are also available to direct people to charities and other nonprofits in need of donations.  

To keep its users informed on the latest regarding COVID-19, Instagram will now direct users to sources such as the World Health Organization and other official health institutes. It also added several policies to prevent the spread of misinformation and to prohibit ads for cures. 

Watch this: Coronavirus lockdown: Why social distancing saves lives