Coronavirus Outbreak: Facebook Messenger provides health authorities, govt with free developer tools

Facebook is also launching a virtual (online) hackathon to see how developers can create messaging solutions.


With the coronavirus pandemic only accelerating, tech companies are doing what they can in curbing the spread of fake news about the virus and combatting Covid-19. Companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and WhatsApp are providing users with prompts and tools for authentic information about the virus. While Instagram and WhatsApp have already rolled out similar tools, Facebook is now opening up the Messenger to governments and medical agencies.

As per Facebook's announcement on Messenger News, government health organizations and UN health agencies will be provided with free developer tools to allow them to use Messenger to scale their response to the COVID-19 crisis. Facebook is also allowing government health organizations and UN health agencies to proactively send important updates related to COVID-19 to people already messaging them.

"Today, 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," Facebook said.

 Coronavirus Outbreak: Facebook Messenger provides health authorities, govt with free developer tools

Facebook opens Messenger to provide free tools to combat COVID-19.

Facebook also said that organizations 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.

Facebook has announced another initiative, wherein, it is launching a virtual (online) hackathon to see how developers can create messaging solutions to help promote some of the important aspects of fighting the virus, such as social distancing and more general information services.

People participating in the hackathon will be encouraged to build both global and local solutions and "will receive unique access to Messenger-related content, including Facebook Live tutorials with product experts and a range of educational materials".

"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," Facebook has announced.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.