Engagement boost Instagram. Instagram Co-Watching: Browse Instagram with Friends Over Video Chat

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To help people stay connected, Instagram has launched a new media sharing feature called Co-Watching.

According to Instagram’s announcement, the new feature allows you to browse your Instagram account (feed, liked photos, etc.) together with your friends over video chat, giving users a new way to communicate and stay connected.

The feature comes alongside several other COVID-19 updates, including a new “Stay Home” sticker and a wider rollout of Instagram’s donation sticker.

Here’s everything you need to know about Co-Watching on Instagram:

What is Co-Watching on Instagram?

Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency in January, Instagram has taken a number of steps to help keep people informed, safe, and supported — and Co-Watching is part of this effort.

The new feature allows friends on a video chat or group video chat to browse through Instagram and share content with the group while still connected.

While Co-Watching was being tested as early as April 2019, according to a Business Insider article, the current state of affairs (aka near-global quarantine) spurred Instagram to get the feature out to users quickly.

“We decided to make it available soon so we could offer more ways for people to come together right now,” an Instagram spokesperson said.

Video-chatting has blown up in recent weeks, with companies like Zoom, Skype, and Hangouts all seeing massive growth due to COVID-19.

It will be interesting to see if Co-Watching has a similar effect on Instagram’s group video chat feature, which was first announced two years ago at the 2018 F8 Conference.

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How to Use the Instagram Co-Watching Feature

Start a video chat by tapping the video chat icon in the Direct inbox or in an existing Direct thread.

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To boost engagement on your Instagram account, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Post high-quality content: Share visually appealing and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Use high-resolution photos, well-edited videos, and compelling captions. Develop a consistent posting style and theme that reflects your brand and captivates your followers.

  • Use captions that encourage interaction: Craft captions that inspire your followers to engage with your posts. Ask questions, invite opinions, or encourage users to tag their friends. Make your captions relatable, informative, or entertaining to capture your audience's attention and encourage them to leave comments.

  • Engage with your audience: Actively respond to comments on your posts and take the time to engage with your followers. Like and reply to their comments, answer their questions, and show genuine interest in their thoughts. By engaging with your audience, you foster a sense of community and encourage them to continue interacting with your content.

  • Utilize Instagram Stories: Take advantage of Instagram Stories to share behind-the-scenes moments, updates, or exclusive content. Use interactive features like polls, quizzes, questions, or stickers to encourage your audience to engage with your Stories. Engaging Stories can lead to increased profile visits and engagement on your main feed.

  • Host giveaways or contests: Organize giveaways or contests that require users to engage with your content to participate. For example, ask them to like, comment, or share your post to enter. This strategy not only boosts engagement but also helps expand your reach as users share your content with their own followers.

  • Collaborate with influencers or other accounts: Partner with influencers or other accounts in your niche to collaborate on content or shoutouts. This can help expose your brand to a wider audience and increase engagement on your account.

  • Use hashtags strategically: Research and use relevant hashtags that are popular in your industry or niche. Hashtags help users discover your content and increase your chances of reaching a broader audience. Mix popular hashtags with more specific or niche ones to maximize exposure and attract engaged users.

  • Encourage user-generated content: Inspire your followers to create and share content related to your brand or products. You can do this by running contests or challenges that require users to post their own content and tag your account or use a specific hashtag. User-generated content fosters engagement and creates a sense of community around your brand.

  • Analyze your insights: Regularly review your Instagram Insights or use third-party analytics tools to understand which types of content perform best and drive the most engagement. Pay attention to metrics like reach, impressions, likes, comments, and saves to identify patterns and optimize your content strategy accordingly.

  • Be consistent and authentic: Consistently post quality content and engage with your audience authentically. Building a loyal and engaged following takes time and requires you to provide value, be genuine, and actively participate in conversations.

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By implementing these strategies, you can boost engagement on your Instagram account and create a vibrant and interactive community around your brand. Remember that it takes time and effort, so be patient and continue to refine your approach based on what resonates best with your audience.

Once you’re video chatting, tap the photo icon in the bottom left corner.

And that’s it! You can now browse your saved, liked, and suggested photos and videos with your friends.

Instagram’s Other Announcements

As mentioned, the launch of Co-Watching comes alongside several other COVID-19 responses from Instagram:

  • Including more educational resources in Instagram Search

  • Adding stickers to promote accurate information

  • Removing COVID-19 accounts from recommendations, unless posted by a credible health organization

  • Rolling out the donation sticker in more countries and helping people find relevant nonprofits to support

  • Creating a shared story to help those practicing social distancing connect with others, using a “Stay Home” sticker

What do you think of Instagram’s new Co-Watching feature? Will you be sharing photos and videos with friends over video chat?

Let us know in the comments!

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