Hidden in Instagram’s messenger feature is code that allows users to co-watch videos and other content with friends, according to TechCrunch.
The feature is similar to Facebook’s Watch Party code, which was also discovered by TechCrunch.
Instagram’s co-watch code could have some outstanding impacts on how much time people spend on the app. Over the years, the platform has focused on more features that keep users scrolling without requiring them to actually post content.
The co-watch feature also highlights some of Instagram’s moves to build communities and spend time with friends without face-to-face interactions. Other features like group and video chats have motioned the company in that direction.
Like most features on Instagram, there may be a catch. Having a co-watch feature could open the door for more targeted advertisements on the platform.
Ads now have a notable presence on Instagram compared to previous years. They are interwoven between Instastories, regular video and photo posts and on IGTV. Suggested videos may also be a feature, much like Facebook’s Watch Party.
However, the hidden code could be Instagram’s ticket to getting more people to use and watch IGTV.
There’s no word on whether WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook, has a similar feature in development.