Instagram is working on a new feature that will let two users watch any video simultaneously without having to do live video calls or group calls. The co-watch feature will be available inside Instagram’s Direct Message section, where you will be able to connect with your friend and watch videos anytime and enjoy the content.
Facebook had made a similar feature available to its users recently where two individuals can connect and watch videos together. This service is called “Watch Party” and according to Techcrunch:
Facebook launched Watch Party to this end back in July, and by November, 12 million had been started from Groups and they generated 8X more comments than non-synced or Live videos. That proves co-watching can make video feel less isolating. That’s important as startups like Houseparty group video chatrooms and Squad screenshare messaging try to nip at Insta’s heels.
It’s also another sign that following the departure of the Instagram founders, Facebook has been standardizing features across its apps, eroding their distinct identities. Mark Zuckerberg plans to unify the backend of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram to allow cross-app messaging. But Instagram has always been Facebook’s content-first app, so while Watch Party might have been built for Facebook Groups, Instagram could be where it hits its stride.
Instagram always takes a good amount of time before releasing their new features and the co-watch feature is in an early phase with only a few basic tests being done. The company however did not comment anything about this upcoming feature on social media.