Facebook Messenger (commonly known as Messenger) on Thursday launched the Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub to help prevent the spread of misinformation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Besides helping people to stay connected, the hub also aims to offers tips, authoritative information and other resources about the epidemic, as we practice physical distancing.
“Being physically separated from the people you care about is hard. This is especially true in uncertain times. Messenger allows people to be with friends and family regardless of where they are or what device they’re using. Around the world, we’ve seen significant increases in people using Messenger for group calls to stay in touch with their loved ones. Globally, 70% more people are participating in group video calls and time spent on group video calls has doubled,” wrote Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Messenger.
“Whether it’s a one-on-one conversation with a friend or a video call with your extended family, Messenger can help keep you connected to your support system and help get us through these challenging times.”
The hub on Messenger will also suggest activities such as “scheduling a virtual play date with your kids’ friends or connecting with their teachers or other parents for school updates”, Chudnovsky wrote. It can also help local community leaders organize group video chats or text groups to support each other amid the crisis.
Additionally, the hub will also show ways to identify false or misleading information about COVID-19, connect to critical organizations like UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control to share timely information and answer commonly asked questions about COVID-19, and also suggest measures to avoid online scams related to COVID-19 treatments or fundraising.
For more information about the new Messenger Coronavirus (COVID-19) Community Hub, you can read here.
Last week, Facebook-owned Whatsapp collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and launched a coronavirus pandemic-focused chatbot ‘WHO Health Alert’ to answer questions from the public about Coronavirus, and to give prompt, reliable and official information 24 hours a day, worldwide.