Instagram has joined other tech giants in sharing timely information about the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and providing resources dedicated to helping minimize the virus spread.

The Facebook-owned company published a blog post this morning to detail the steps it’s taking in order to help users of its platform access accurate information and stay safe.

Instagram’s coronavirus updates

The following measures were announced:

  • Including more educational resources in Instagram Search
  • Adding stickers to promote accurate information
  • Launching a new way to browse Instagram with friends over video chat
  • Removing COVID-19 content and 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 new Stay Home sticker

Co-Watching

Co-Watching is a new way to browse the service with your friends over video chat.

To initiate a Co-Watching video chat, tap the video chat icon in your Direct inbox or in an existing Direct thread. When the session has started, you can easily view saved, liked and suggested photos or videos by tapping the photo icon in the video chat’s bottom left corner.

Accurate coronavirus information

As shown top of post, using the search feature to surface relevant information related to the coronavirus pandemic will automatically display an educational message with links to official resources from the World Health Organization and local health ministries.

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Over the past few weeks we’ve added a notice at the top of feed for countries affected by COVID-19, with reliable resources from expert health organizations. In addition, we’ve been highlighting resources from these organizations when people view related hashtags.

Instagram says it will roll out the COVID-19 section globally over the coming weeks.

New stickers

You may use Instagram’s new stickers to share accurate COVID-19 information in your stories, with features like reminders to wash hands, social distancing and more. These will be available in the Instagram Camera “in the coming days,” the company said.

New “stay home” stickers are available when posting a story

Instagram says that any accounts you follow who use this sticker will be added to a shared Instagram story so you can see how others are practicing social distancing.

Furthermore, Instagram’s Donation sticker is now available in more countries. They’ve added a new COVID-49 section to the Donation sticker so users can quickly identify relevant nonprofits.

Fighting misinformation

Instagram is taking additional steps to curb coronavirus misinformation.

For example, it has removed fake COVID-19 accounts from recommendations and COVID-19 related content from Explore, unless posted by a credible health organization.

We will also start to downrank content in feed and Stories that has been rated false by third-party-fact checkers. This is in addition to our existing policies on misinformation. If posts are rated false by third-party-fact checkers, we remove them from Explore and hashtag pages. We also remove false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities as having the potential to cause harm to people who believe them.

Ads regarding face masks and fake COVID-19 remedies are temporarily banned, too.

Last but not least, Instagram’s removed the ability to search for COVID-19 related augmented reality effects unless developed in partnership with a recognized health organization.

How do you like Instagram’s COVID-19 updates?

Share your thoughts in the commenting section down below.