In order to help countries across the globe combat the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook has collaborated with its developer community to provide free services to government health organisations and UN health agencies so that they can use Messenger to scale their response to the COVID-19 crisis. The need to share timely information about this outbreak plays a pivotal role in keeping communities safe.
Asserting that communities around the world are dealing with quarantines and other disruptions to daily life because of the coronavirus outbreak, Facebook aims to help people connect and be closer together is more important than ever. Moreover, the social networking platform’s mission is to provide people with full access to the latest and most reliable information.
“Our developer partners have offered to provide their services free of charge to these organisations during this crisis. Developers will help with things like automating responses to commonly asked questions, which can take some of the burden off of overwhelmed staff. They’ll also show these organizations how to share updates with their audience most effectively and how to seamlessly transition from automated conversations to chatting with a live person when necessary,” said Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Facebook Messenger.
Argentina’s Ministry of Health is launching a Messenger experience, with support from Botmaker.com, to answer questions from the public about the coronavirus, and to provide fast, reliable and official advice 24 hours a day. Organisations like UNICEF and Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination (NHSRC) are also using Messenger to ensure people have the latest information about COVID-19.
Besides this, Facebook is also creating an online hackathon and inviting developers to build messaging solutions that address challenges related to the coronavirus such as social distancing and keeping people educated and informed.
According to a blog post on Facebook, The social media platform is “also partnering with hackathon provider Devpost to invite developers around the world to participate in an online hackathon leveraging the Messenger platform to build messaging solutions that address COVID-19 issues like social distancing and keeping people educated and informed.”
Developers who are interested in participating can subscribe to the Facebook for Developers newsletter for updates.
Meanwhile, Facebook has almost doubled server capacity for WhatsApp to provide reliable communication to people across the countries. Apart from this, Facebook has also launched an information hub with tips on how healthcare workers, educators and local businesses can stay connected using WhatsApp. It has also donated $1 million to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) to expand the presence of local fact-checkers on WhatsApp.
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(Image credit: Facebook)