In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Facebook has launched a global version of its Community Help feature.
Community Help is a tool where users can offer or search for assistance in the wake of a crisis. It originally launched in 2017 for users to get help following terrorist attacks and weather events, but Facebook is now expanding the tool’s features to let users quickly donate to those impacted by the pandemic. Categories such as Food, Baby Supplies, Toiletries, and Business Support—the latter letting people donate to fundraisers to help local businesses and shops personally impacted by the pandemic—have all been added to the tool. Facebook’s high brand engagement rates could give the initiative the opportunity to connect with users across the globe for the first time, according to a Gartner report. Notably, this is the first time the Community Help tab is being used in the wake of a health pandemic. The feature can be found within Facebook’s existing COVID-19 information center, which is currently active in thirty countries.
To advertise the international rollout, Facebook released a poignant video of communities around the world ravaged by the pandemic. The short film, called “Never Lost”, is overlaid by poet Kate Tempest reciting her poem, “People’s Faces”. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted the video announcing the “COVID Support” effort. The feature extension also arrives on the heels of Facebook teaming up with Ad Council on a public service campaign about the pandemic. Additionally, Facebook pledged $100 million to help news organizations stay afloat in the face of a global economic fallout.
Facebook is uniting its international community in a time when support is gravely needed. Opening up the support channel to an international audience could help Facebook stay top of mind with viewers looking to give back, particularly as the platform sees a rise in users during the pandemic.