Following the launch of its COVID-19 Information Center on Facebook comes a similar offering in Messenger: the new Coronavirus Community Hub. With this, Facebook Messenger users can access information related to the pandemic directly in the chatting app, including resources from government health organizations. These groups will be able to provide users with immediate automated responses to coronavirus questions and more.
Facebook recently launched a developer program that helps qualified health organizations, including ones verified to belong to various governments and UN agencies, to develop ‘an automated experience.’ With this, users will be able to get accurate information directly from the agencies and organizations using a chatbot similar to the one recently launched by WHO in WhatsApp.
Aside from that, the hub at this point seems to mostly revolve around explaining the ways that Messenger can be useful during the pandemic, the most obvious being its ability to keep quarantined people connected with each other. The company said in a blog post earlier this week that it has experienced a huge uptick in demand for its services, including Messenger and WhatsApp.
The company is encouraging its users to avoid spreading misinformation related to the virus, including nonsense ‘cures’ and ‘treatments.’ These fake solutions to COVID-19 have been circulating on the main Facebook platform, including claims that drinking hot beverages and breathing in hot air from a hairdryer can somehow kill the virus.
Users who want more information about the virus, including the real-time numbers on confirmed cases and deaths, can head over to the Facebook Information Portal. The company is sourcing information from a variety of verified partners like the CDC, and is also elevating news articles and more related to the outbreak.