Facebook is expanding its COVID-19 Announcement tool in India to help people share relevant timely updates about coronavirus. The social media giant cites that the tool has been rolled out as part of their ongoing efforts to support public health authorities and keep the public informed during the pandemic.
Notably, the feature was initially introduced in the US and India has become the second country to get this tool. To provide COVID-19 related information to the users in the country, Facebook has partnered with 33 states and Union Territories in their jurisdictions and local communities. The tool will not just encourage health departments to push timely updates related to COVID-19, but also provide vaccine information to people in their local communities/ state jurisdictions. With this tool, people will be able to communicate relevant information on resources like oxygen-supported hospital bed availability, registration for vaccine, logistics of acquiring a vaccine in districts, updates on existing COVID-19 rules, regulations, changes to treatment protocols, etc.
Facebook COVID-19 Announcement tool: How it works
The feature works when posts by state health department pages on Facebook are marked as Covid-19 Announcements. The company notes that the tool will help amplify the reach of these pages so that people located in the community can see them. Facebook will send notifications as well to those located in the affected area about the availability of resources and show that information on the COVID-19 Information Center as well. Thereupon it will help distribute important and urgent updates related to Covid-19 or Covid-19 vaccination efforts to people in the community.
While social media networks have become the major platform for spreading fake information by miscreants, Facebook seems to have brought this tool to curb the issue and help people stay better informed about COVID-19 rules, regulations, and availability of resources in the country. As per reports, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has topped the chart of circulating misinformation on COVID.