How Instagram adapts its app in times of health crisis

Via Instagram, the confined (in the screen, the singer John Legend) speak to the confined. – Sarah Morris / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Containment with or without an Amaro or Clarendon filter…
Instagram unveiled new features on Tuesday to meet the increased demand for reliable information on the pandemic.
Covid-19 but also to try to ensure conviviality, in this period of virtual social interaction. With more than 2.6 billion people around the world called to stay at home, the issue is strategic for the application.

“The volume of lives [vidéos en direct] has more than doubled in Italy, on Facebook and Instagram, since the start of the containment. And we are seeing similar peaks in other parts of the world, “said Adam Mosseri, the boss of Instagram, at a video conference call.

Instagram will now offer a feature called “co-watching”, allowing multiple people – up to six – to make video calls while viewing content on the platform together. These new options will be long-term, and will be perpetuated once the health crisis has passed.

Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has taken steps to address the growing needs of the more than 2 billion people active every day on at least one of its platforms and messengers (Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.).

Ads for masks are prohibited

The focus is on fighting fake news, false rumors and other nonsense, potentially dangerous advice. “There are, of course, but we haven’t seen an outbreak either. This is mostly bad advice not funny, not so much scams motivated by the greed, “tempers the boss of Instagram.

The ban on all advertising for hydroalcoholic masks or gels, announced a few weeks ago, has only really been in effect since Monday. “The situation is pretty crazy,” admits Adam Mosseri, speaking of his thousands of colleagues who must adjust the operation of the platform in record time, from their home.

A sticker removed urgently

On Instagram, users who type keywords related to Covid-19 into the search bar will see educational messages and links to information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other local institutions. The platform also promotes donations to NGOs, with a “sticker” to indicate legitimate organizations with financial needs.

But not everything goes without hiccups. The new “Stay Home” sticker had to be removed urgently 36 hours after being launched. “It was so used that it almost dived Instagram. We had to redesign it on Sunday and we have been reworking it since Monday, ”reveals Adam Mosseri.

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