Social media during the pandemic

Social media during the pandemic

During these times of crisis and profound behavioural changes, social media has become more visible and useful than ever.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and Founder, “for the first time ever, there are now more than three billion people actively using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger each month. That includes 2.6 billion people using Facebook alone, and more than 2.3 billion people using at least one of our services every day. In many of the places that have been hardest hit by the virus, messaging volume increased more than 50 percent, and voice and video calling have more than doubled across Messenger and WhatsApp.”

If you have been logging on to Facebook recently, you may have noticed many new features:

A Covid-19 Information Center at the top of everyone’s Facebook app, with authoritative information from health officials and governments, and messages encouraging people to stay home that are coming from public figures they trust. So far, they have directed more than two billion people to it.

Most recently Facebook announced Messenger Rooms a group video chat designed for social interactions, from hosting celebrations, game nights, family reunions, or just have some time to hang out. It works just like Zoom, you can send people a link, and they can join even if they are not on Facebook. You will be able to create rooms and invite people across WhatsApp, Instagram, and Portal as well.

Yesterday, the new Facebook Shops was launched – “the basic idea is that any small business can easily start a shop to sell things directly across our apps. If you visit someone’s shop, you will be able to see that small business’s story, see their featured products, and buy them in our apps”, stated Zuckerberg. 

Finally, a new emoji has appeared on the timeline aside from the usual array of emotions – from like, love, angry, and sad. It is a care emoji, and it is a way of expressing, in these tough times, that you care for something. A hug in an emoji, in effect, as it is a face holding a heart. This tiny emoji is now subject of more than 20 Facebook groups worldwide with more than 50k members, and more than 100 videos.

But this online social media and social networking service is quickly adapting all of their services as well: WhatsApp doubled the number of people who can participate in a group video call from four to eight, Messenger will have new effects like 360 virtual backgrounds, Facebook Dating is hosting virtual dates, you can now watch live videos on desktop and save your live videos to IGTV on Instagram, and Messenger Kids is expanding to more than 70 countries and territories.

All these changes are framed under the Facebook Inc. strategy to support people around the world during the crisis, under the principles of assisting the public health response, helping people stay connected while they are apart, and helping small business and economic recovery

I wanted to share a summary of the new product updates I just discussed on the livestream to help us all feel connected with the people we care about, even while we can't be together in person. Today's updates focused on video presence and we're releasing new experiences across three categories: video calling, video rooms, and live video.More than 700 million daily actives use WhatsApp and Messenger for calling. In many countries, calling has doubled since the Covid-19 outbreak began. To help you stay connected with your whole family and groups of friends, we're doubling the number of people who can participate in a group video call from 4 to 8 on WhatsApp. We're also launching AI-powered effects like 360 virtual backgrounds on Messenger, virtual dates on Facebook Dating, and expanding Messenger Kids to more than 70 countries and territories.I'm also excited to announce Messenger Rooms — group video chat designed with social interactions in mind. You can start a room for any activity — whether you're hosting celebrations, game nights, book clubs, or just have some time to hang out — send people a link, and they can drop in and hang out with you even if they're not on Facebook. You'll be able to create rooms and invite people across WhatsApp, Instagram and Portal as well. You'll also be able to discover rooms your friends are in at the top of News Feed, and it's easy to drop by and say hi. You don't need to schedule time to hang out like other video conferencing tools. We're testing Rooms in a few countries now and plan to roll it out globally over the coming weeks.For live video, there are now more than 800 million daily actives engaging with livestreams across Facebook and Instagram for workout classes, concerts, faith services, and more. We're bringing Live With back to Facebook so you can add another person into your live video. We're also making it easier to raise money and donate money directly in Live. On Instagram, you can now watch live videos on desktop and we're also adding a feature to let you save your live videos to IGTV. You'll also be able to go live from Portal to Facebook Pages and Groups soon as well.I hope these new product updates will help bring people closer together and help us all feel more present with the people we care about during this period. I'm looking forward to getting Rooms and the rest of these features into all of your hands soon, and hearing what you all think!

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, April 24, 2020
some of the Facebook updates

Angela Cadena


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