San Francisco: Facebook has started opening up its Community Help feature — part of the Safety Check system — to businesses and other organisations so that that they can provide critical information and services for people to get the help they need in a crisis. The Community Help feature was added to Facebook’s Safety Check system a year ago to let people find and give help such as food, shelter and transportation after a crisis.
“But people helping people is only part of the solution. Organisations and businesses also play an integral role in responding to crises and helping communities rebuild,” said Facebook’s Product Lead for Social Good Asha Sharma said on Thursday. “Enabling organisations and businesses to post in Community Help will give them a new way to reach communities impacted by crises,” Sharma said.
Facebook has started rolling out the feature to Pages for organisations and businesses like Direct Relief, Lyft, Chase, Feeding America, International Medical Corps, The California Department of Forestry and Fire and Save the Children. The social media giant said it would make the feature available to more in the coming weeks. Some of the crises where people used Community Help the most in 2017 include the flooding in Brazil (May), Hurricane Harvey in the US (August), the attack in Barcelona (August), the flooding in Mumbai (August) and the earthquake in Central Mexico (September).
People have also engaged with Community Help more than 750,000 times via posts, comments and messages, and the most frequent categories they use are volunteer opportunities, shelter, food and clothing donations. “Our priority is to build tools that help keep people safe and provide them with ways to get the help they need to recover and rebuild after a crisis,” Sharma said. “We hope this update makes it even easier for people to get the help they need in times of crisis and will give businesses and organizations an opportunity to build stronger communities around them.”