Facebook (META -2.03%) rolled out a new coronavirus community hub for its Messenger platform. The Messenger Coronavirus (COVID-19) Community Hub provides information, tips, and resources about staying connected to loved ones, colleagues, and your community during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
At the same time, it delivers advice about how to stop the spread of misinformation as well as how to avoid coronavirus-related scams.
Stan Chudnovsky, Messenger vice president, announced the new hub, saying in a blog post that the company has seen large increases in the use of Messenger for group calls, noting that time spent on group video calls has doubled. "We hope the hub can serve as a resource for people to help maintain their communities and social connections even when they can't be together in-person," wrote Chudnovsky.
The new Messenger hub includes suggestions for maintaining connections with others through group chats and video calls, and using Facebook Stories to express yourself. It includes information about setting up a special Messenger account for kids, support for government health organizations, and links to additional resources.
The hub complements other COVID-19 information Facebook is making available from sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Facebook is also rolling out a $100 million grant program to help small businesses around the world, and it donated $1 million to the International Fact-Checking Network, a program dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide in an effort to stop misinformation.