Facebook activates disaster help app

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) – September 16, 2018 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — As Typhoon Ompong and Hurricane Florence pummeled the Philippines and the United States, respectively, social media giant Facebook said users in communities with limited internet and slow network connectivity will now be able to utilize a feature to communicate fast and help one another in times of disasters.

The social media company said its Community Help feature will be accessible in Facebook Lite, an application designed for people to access Facebook in areas with low connectivity or limited internet.

The application uses less data, installs fast, loads quickly and works on lower-end devices and slower networks.

With Community Help, users affected by disasters may be able to find each other to either provide or receive support.

It is a related feature to Safety Check, which allows users to let friends and family know they are safe in the aftermath of a disaster.

“Our priority is to build tools that provide people with ways to get the help they need to recover and rebuild after a crisis,” Facebook crisis response product manager Jeong-Suh Choi said.

“By making Community Help available on Facebook Lite, even more people can get the help they need in times of crisis,” he added.

Facebook earlier enabled the Safety Check feature on Facebook Lite.

The upgraded feature was announced days before Typhoon Ompong and Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Philippines and the United States, respectively.



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