Facebook has announced that organisations and businesses can now post in ‘Community Help’, a crisis response tool where people can request and provide help needed to recover following crises where ‘Safety Check’ – a Facebook tool, which people can use to tell friends they are safe if in crisis-affected areas has been activated.
Asha Sharma, the Product Lead, Social Good in a statement said, “Organisations and businesses can post in Community Help, so that they can provide critical information and services for people to get the help they need in a crisis,” adding, “We are beginning to roll 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, and will make the feature available to more users in the coming weeks,” she said.
According to her, the new feature provides organisations and businesses new ways to reach communities impacted by crises. For example, they might post about helping people find everything from free transportation to supplies and connecting volunteers with organizations that need help. “We want to be there for our customers and communities in both good times and bad,” said Jess Purdy, Head of Social Media at Chase. “With so many people turning to Facebook to connect with friends, families and neighbours during crises, we see Community Help as a great tool in helping us connect our resources with those who need them most.”
Over the past year, people turned to Community Help for more than 500 different crises. 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 also engaged with Community Help more than 750,000 times via posts, comments and messages, and the most frequent categories used are volunteer opportunities, shelter, food and clothing donations.
Facebook’s 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. The company hopes this update makes it even easier for people to get the help they need in times of crisis and will give businesses and organisations an opportunity to build stronger communities around them.