Facebook users trying to offer or request help after a natural disaster on the platform's Crisis Response pages can now do so via WhatsApp, which could mean more people can use this feature, according to Facebook officials. A couple of years ago, Facebook organized these tools - like Safety Check, Community Help and Fundraisers - all under a centralized "Crisis Response" centralized hub. Facebook is introducing new updates in this feature to improve its functionality.
These new features are now rolling out in the Crisis Response section in your Facebook. It is a good place to connect people with one another in times of crisis. Dalton also noted that using WhatsApp for its Crisis Response tool would be especially beneficial in areas with poor connectivity, where WhatsApp might be the only accessible messaging tool. You can offer or request for help through the messaging app, aside from the option of using Facebook Messenger.
In addition to WhatsApp integration with Crisis Response feature, Facebook is also expanding "Data for Good" tools. Via partnerships with more than 100 organizations, Facebook provides disaster maps and relief organizations with information about where to distribute supplies, based on aggregated, anonymized data.
Still, it's a welcome improvement - one that just might help people get the help they need at the moment they need it. WhatsApp users who are affected by the tragic events can now ask for help from people, and can now expect to receive messages from responders as well. Apart from it, the federal relief agencies are also taking advantage of Facebook's data.
The company is also improving its disaster maps, following its work with experts on the topic of displacement, like the International Displacement Monitoring Centre.
"We heard from people all over the world who wanted to see this happen", Emily Dalton Smith, Facebook's head of social impact product, told Mashable.