Social network giant Facebook is adding a WhatsApp button to crisis response tool, its disaster-reporting and communications feature where a user requests or offers help during a time of emergency.
The Crisis Response tool is a disaster-reporting and communications feature that’s being used in 300 crises in more than 80 countries presently. The company today is announcing several new features, including WhatsApp integration, support for first-hand information sharing and an expansion of its “Data for Good” tools for things like better disaster and displacement maps
The new feature will allow people in affected areas to provide real-time information related to any disaster. Formerly, replies to requests on Facebook’s crisis response pages could only be sent with Facebook Messenger.The update allow the social network to provide this information to state and local officials, as well as federal relief agencies such as Direct Relief and the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation.
Facebook is also expanding its Data for Good tools, using its data to provide relief organisations with information on where to distribute supplies, based on aggregated, anonymised data.
Additionally, Facebook is also updating its disaster maps to be more accurate in collaboration with agencies such as the International Displacement Monitoring Centre.
The new features will allow for photo and video sharing within the Crisis Response centre on Facebook.
Crisis Response originally developed out of a handful of features that help family, friends and communities support one another in the wake of a disaster.
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