If you use Instagram video chats frequently, you must have noticed a new photo icon on the call interface. It’s a new media sharing feature launched by Instagram in a bid to promote social distancing due to COVID-19. What does it do and how to use it in video calls on Instagram? Find the answer here.
You may call it co-watching, co-sharing, or media sharing. The feature is designed to help you view certain Instagram posts along with your friends while you are on a video call. It's a subtle version of Facebook's Watch Party.
Let's find out in detail how co-watching works on Instagram and other important things about it.
1. What Is Co-Watching on Instagram Video Calls
Earlier, if you were on a video call with your friend and you wanted to show them a picture from your saved collection on Instagram, you had to leave the calling interface and send that post as a message. Even though the call didn’t disconnect, the entire process was a bit tedious.
Now, with the co-watching feature, you can easily show them a post from your saved collection or liked posts without leaving the video chat interface or disconnecting the call. The post would appear in the video calling screen only. You can view the shared content together on the same screen while being on a video call.
The media sharing or co-watching feature in video calls is available to every one and all profiles on Instagram - be it public, private, or business.
3. Does Media Sharing Work in Group Video Chats
Yes, you can use the feature in group video chats too. The same rules and steps will apply.
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4. What Media Can You Share on Video Call
The media sharing on Instagram lets you co-watch three things. Firstly, the posts that you have liked on Instagram. Secondly, your bookmarked or saved posts that you have added in your collections. Lastly, if you want to check random posts with your friend, Instagram suggests some posts on its own too. The posts can be pictures and videos.
Pro Tip: You can view your liked posts on Instagram by going to Instagram Settings > Account > Posts You’ve Liked.
5. What Can You Not Share in Video Calls
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot watch your entire feed or a friend’s feed with your pals using this feature. Only the three things mentioned above can be viewed together. Even the IGTV videos are currently missing from this feature.
Using this feature is quite easy. First, start a video call on Instagram. For that, open the group or a chat thread where you want to call someone. Then, tap on the video call icon at the top.
Once the call is connected, tap on the media icon present at the bottom or top. After that, you will see three tabs – liked posts, saved, and suggested posts. At this point, only you will be able to see the posts. Tap on a post to show it to others.
After you share the post, it will show up on the screen for all the participants. They will see a tiny notification showing the name of the person who has shared the post.
7. How to Remove or Change a Shared Post from Video Call
For that, tap on the Remove button present on the photo. If it isn't visible, tap on the photo once to make the Remove button visible. Alternatively, again, tap on the media icon and select a different post.
8. Will Instagram Notify the Other Person When They Are Being Co-Watched
No. The person whose posts you are co-sharing will not be notified about it. However, since liked posts are one of the main components of co-watching, the user would have received a notification when you had earlier liked the post.
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9. Who Can Share or Remove Media
All the participants of a video call can share supported posts. And, similarly, anyone can remove the shared post from the on-going video call by either adding a new post or removing the existing one using the Remove option.
10. How Many Posts Can Be Shared
Only one post can be shared at a time. If you want to co-watch more posts, you need to remove the existing one first.
11. What About Private Posts
The co-watching feature works for both public and private posts. While there is no restriction in the case of public posts, things change when it comes to private posts. So, if you are trying to share a liked or saved post from a private profile, all the participants should be following the private profile. If even one of the participants does not follow the private profile, no one would be able to see that post.
12. Co-Watching vs. Instagram Live
Those are completely two different features. The main difference lies in the fact Instagram Live is visible to all your followers. On the contrary, co-watching is a private experience limited to your messages and can be done with a select few people only.
13. Media Feature Not Working in Instagram Video Calls
In case you don’t have the feature or it’s not working properly, don’t worry. Follow the below mentioned fixes to solve it.
The first thing that you should do is update the Instagram app. Updating the app would bring new features to you.
On Android, you can try clearing the cache for the Instagram app. Doing so will not delete your posts or remove your followers.
To clear cache, go to Settings on your phone followed by Apps. Tap on Instagram. Hit on Storage. Then, tap on Clear cache.
Instagram's co-watching feature is currently limited in many ways. Had IGTV videos or stories been included, it would be more exciting. But when it comes to stories and posts, privacy plays an important role. Let's wait and see how Instagram develops the feature with time.
Do you want to block someone on Instagram? Find out what happens after blocking a person from the next link.
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