According to reports, Instagram is working on its own version of Facebook’s ‘Watch Party,’ a video feature that lets users watch and interact with videos together, while they’re not even in the same location.
One of the roles of social media is to bring us together, despite the physical distance between us. And I’m not just talking about bringing us together around common interests or causes – or other things people care about enough to connect. We do all those things anyway, and social media makes things easier.
I’m instead referring to social media’s role in bringing us together to consume content together. That’s why Facebook launched Watch Party, a feature that allows its users to watch videos together and interact with them simultaneously. The feature which expanded to all Facebook Pages and Profiles around the world, back in November, has been a big success on the platform.
Now, according to reports, Instagram seems also to be working on a “co-watching” feature of its own. Code for the new feature was spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, who announced the find on Twitter and explained that it’s likely to be something “like Facebook’s Watch Party but for Instagram Direct.”
Instagram is testing Co-Watching in Video Calls
It's like Facebook's Watch Party but for Instagram Direct
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) March 7, 2019
When asked about the content that Instagram would be making available for the feature, Wong said that “Instagram is being pretty vague in what kind of videos to be co-watched. Maybe video posts? Maybe IGTV?” In my opinion, I see Instagram using it mainly to push long-form content from IGTV, which hasn’t become hugely popular yet. Doing so would make perfect sense, as the platform is generally starting to push IGTV content a lot more lately.
I can’t see Instagram including video posts or Stories in the feature.