Since we’re all living in a video-chat world nowadays, Instagram has rolled out a new feature that makes it easy for you, and those you’re conferencing with on the service, to enjoy the best and worst of the social site together. Without breaking your video call, you’ll all be able to watch the same videos at the same time—or comment on your favourite pictures while you view them together.
I find it a much more elegant solution than blasting your friends with shares and having to ask, “Hey, did you watch that video I sent you,” but that’s just me.
To get started, fire up a video call with your friends by tapping on the arrow icon in the upper-right corner of Instagram’s primary UI and selecting the icon that looks like a video camera in the same-ish spot. Pick your friends to chat with—up to six at once—and off you’ll go. In the video chat interface that appears, look to the lower-right corner for a “Media” button:
Tap that, and a new section appears that defaults to a view of all the Instagram posts you’ve previously liked. Pick one of them—photo or video—or tap the bookmark or explore icons to view posts you’ve previously saved or the usual “Instagram-recommended” feed of random content from across the service.
Whatever you tap will get bumped into the main feed for all video participants to view at the same time.
If it’s a video, it’ll just keep looping until you find something else to watch. Feel free to snark as long as you need to until someone throws something else interesting into the group video call.
While this isn’t the most novel feature, it is certainly a welcome one for these trying, videoconference-filled times. At least, it’ll allow my friends and I to focus on the essentials—cute animal commentary—and share our thoughts in real-time, rather than having to wait hours for those boring ol’ “omg so chonk” text responses.