Facebook Messenger Launches Free Tools for Government and Agencies

They're using Messenger to help scale response to the COVID-19 crisis

Why This Matters

Governments and agencies will need all the help they can get to reach as many people with solid, reliable information about the COVID-19 crisis. Facebook is helping them do just that.

Messenger icon on iPhone

Facebook launched two related initiatives to help governments and UN health agencies combat the coronavirus pandemic: free Messenger development for governments and a hackathon to encourage innovation from developers.

What they said: "We’re partnering with our developer community to provide free services to government health organizations and UN health agencies to help them use Messenger to scale their response to the COVID-19 crisis."

Facebook says Argentina's Ministry of Health is already using Messenger to provide "timely and reliable information about coronavirus."

Wait, there's more: Facebook is recruiting Messenger developers to participate in an online hackathon to "build messaging solutions that address challenges related to the coronavirus such as social distancing and keeping people educated and informed."

Examples include Facebook Live tutorials or other educational experiences to help support us during these trying times. The winning developers will get mentoring from Facebook engineers to implement their ideas more fully, and will be invited, flown, and hosted at F8 2021 (this year's F8 developer conference was canceled).

The bottom line: The best way to fight the COVID-19 virus is to follow the recommendations of scientists and world health organizations. Fighting the spread of misinformation is just as important as connecting with each other via tools like Messenger. Pairing government agencies along with innovative developers is a great way to make sure we have all the information and online connections that we need during this crisis.

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