While people probably don’t go to Instagram to get news and information, the fact that a lot of people are currently on the platform means they also have to be prepared. The Facebook-owned app is now bringing more features so that their users will also be informed with all the most accurate and latest information about COVID-19. Instagram is more of a visual space so you also get stickers and video chat features. It’s also a good space to get people to donate and help relief efforts.
If you search for corona-virus or COVID-19 on Instagram, you’ll be pointed to an educational message to bring you to resources from the World Health Organization and your local health ministries. Countries that are affected will also get a notice at the top of users’ feeds so you will be led to reliable sources if you want to know more. They’re highlighting resources from important organizations, removing COVID-19 accounts from account recommendations and from Export, unless it’s posted by a credible health organization.
They also have to police the information that goes through the platform, even if news isn’t the main reason why people go there anyway. They are downranking content in Feed and Stories if it’s been rated false by their third-party fact-checkers and removing them from Explore and hashtag pages. False claims and conspiracy theories are removed if they’ve been flagged by health organizations and local health authorities. Misleading ads for products are removed and ads and branded content for important medical equipment are temporarily banned.
Instagram is also bringing stickers to help you share accurate information in Stories, including reminders to wash your hands, practice social distancing, etc. There’s also a “Stay At Home” sticker were accounts who use it will be added to a shared Instagram story. You will see how others are managing staying at home in order to help in stopping the spread of the virus. There’s also media sharing where you can view Instagram posts over video chat. You can view the saved, liked, and suggested photos and videos by tapping the photo icon in the bottom left corner.
Finally, donating and helping relief operations are very important right now. You can find a Donation sticker in additional countries to make it easier to help. There’s also a COVID-19 section so people can identify relevant nonprofits. In times like this, everyone is doing what they can to keep people informed and safe, digitally and in the real world.