Instagram introduces new feature to ease social isolation triggered by coronavirus

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Mar 24, 2020, 11.39 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

The Instagram application is seen on a phone screen. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

With over 1.3 billion people forced into lockdown by governments in a bid to contain the virus, most people are physically cut-off from each other

Earlier today, Instagram introduced a new feature which allows its users to access the content easily and to share content content faster to ease the pressure created by self-isolation on people across the globe.

The picture-based social network, owned by Facebook has also stepped up measures to control the flow of misinformation across its platform during the times of pandemic.

During a press briefing, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri introduced the new feature, which is called “co-watching”. It allows people to browse and connect even in the middle of a video call.

Also read: Instagram removes IGTV button from home screen

With over 1.3 billion people forced into lockdown by governments in a bid to contain the virus, most people are physically cut-off from each other.

The aim behind the feature, as asserted by Mosseri, is to “combat the loneliness” that accompanies self-isolation measures.

According to Mosseri, there is no coordination misinformation campaign in place, which is a common exercise during elections, but rather “bad advice” is being touted by people all over the place.

To counter this, Instagram directly links the people to advisories released by the World Health Organisation and local health ministries 

Also read: Could United States become the next epicentre of COVID-19?

“Stickers” will be employed to signify which information is verified, with the company committed to removing health claims that do not arrive from credible sources.

In the times of social distancing, Instagram has offered to share tips and tricks on how it can be effectively achieved.

Additionally, the platform is also linking up charities tp enable donations for hard-hit countries.

The parent company, Facebook has ramped up efforts to fight misinformation across all its platforms including Messenger and WhatsApp.

Also read: Instagram bans influencers from promoting vaping products

Two billion people use applications developed and maintained by Facebook daily.

As of figures from today, more than 380,000 cases have been registered worldwide. Additionally, over 16,500 have died. The global tally of the recovered patients so far stands at 100,000.       

Instagram boasts one billion global users, making it a key decider of not only images, but of news surrounding the pandemic. 

“Stickers” will be employed to signify which information is verified, with the company committed to removing health claims that do not arrive from credible sources.

(With inputs from AFP)