Social media giant Facebook has announced an update to Safety Check, called Community Help, that lets people find and give help such as food, shelter and transportation after a crisis. In the areas of immediate danger, Safety Check allows people to notify their family and friends that they are safe. This feature of Facebook has been used during natural calamities and terrorists attacks across the world. “With Community Help people can find and give help, and message others directly to connect after a crisis. Posts can be viewed by category and location, making it easier for people to find the help they need,” said Naomi Gleit, VP Social Good, Facebook, in a statement.
To start, Facebook will make Community Help available for natural and accidental incidents, such as an earthquake or building fire and will be rolled out in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and Saudi Arabia for the first couple of weeks. For the community to use Community Help after an incident, Safety Check must first be activated.
For Safety Check to activate, two things need to happen. First, global crisis reporting agencies NC4 and iJET International alert Facebook that an incident has occurred and give it a title, and Facebook will begin monitoring for posts about the incident in the area. Second, if a lot of people are talking about the incident, they may be prompted to mark themselves safe, and invite others to do the same. “If an incident is a natural or accidental disaster, people will see Community Help. They can find or give help, and message others directly to connect from within Safety Check,” Gleit added.
Facebook rolled out another new feature that shows full weather forecast on its mobile app and desktop site. According to a report in TechCrunch, within the new Weather section, users can view a full forecast for a week ahead, powered by data from Weather.com. The new feature, an extension of its earlier version ‘weather greetings’, can be accessed from News Feed or the mobile app’s ‘More’ menu.
“Facebook confirmed that the new feature was launched to around 95 per cent of its global population this week,” the report noted. Facebook rolled out ‘weather greetings’ a year ago in News Feed, which would briefly update the weather on top of the News Feed. In the latest feature, users will see a similar weather information with a link to the full, five-day forecast.
“We are doing this because our goal is to develop products that connect people to the things they care about most and create moments of joy in people’s day, like simply telling you that it’s going to rain later,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.