Facebook launches new Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub

The world’s biggest social media platform has taken the opportunity to announce the launching of its new Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub

According to the official announcement from Facebook, the Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub will not only help people to continue to keep in touch with family, friends, neighbors and even co-workers, it will also provide relevant information and news that should aid in eliminating misinformation about the current COVID-19 pandemic.

As stated by Stan Chudnovsky, the vice president of Messenger, in the announcement:

“Messenger helps you feel together with the people you care about, even when you can’t be together. Right now, maintaining physical distance from others is critical to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Today, we’re launching the Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub with tips and resources to keep people connected to their friends, family, colleagues, and community, and prevent the spread of misinformation.”

The importance of connection in a time of crisis

Social media platforms have given us a means for staying connected, now more than ever. It is not surprising then that in these troubling times, more and more people are using Messenger not only for its messaging but also for its group calling capabilities.

Indeed, according to Facebook, 70% more folks are joining group video calls around the world. On top of that, the average time that people spend on group video calls has recently increased two-fold.

Continuing to keep virtual communities amid social distancing

For most folks out there, social distancing takes a lot of getting used to. One reason Facebook decided to launch the Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub was to help its users maintain a sense of community, even if it’s a virtual one.

The tech giant says that its new resource hub should be able to offer tips for families on how to keep in touch with relatives, neighbors, playmates, schoolmates, and teammates.

For instance, parents whose kids go to the same school can arrange a virtual play date for their children. Users who belong to the same club or organization can start group video calls or chat rooms, not only for the purpose of continuing their pursuit of similar interests but also as a way of offering comfort to each other.

Access to useful and trusted information

Facebook also says that the new community hub will help people connect to organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and UNICEF, and more importantly, get access to the right resources and correct information, especially on how to combat coronavirus.

The Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub will also offer information on how to avoid Internet scams, especially those that offer treatment for COVID-19, or promote fraudulent fundraising drives. 

Some may remember that last month, Facebook had taken action to quell bogus cures and fake news about the disease on its platform. Another tech giant, YouTube, is similarly making a conscious effort to promote better awareness about the virus.

Featured image courtesy of Facebook.

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