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Facebook Updates Its Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak, Including Free Ads for WHO



With the Coronavirus outbreak slowly spreading across the globe, people are understandably spooked and looking for more information. And given the propensity for people to get their news updates from Facebook, it’s a fairly safe bet that many will be looking there – and with 2.5 billion active users, it’s now likely the best platform to reach the maximum amount of people, and disseminate necessary information on the latest updates, relevant to each region.

Late last month, Facebook outlined its initial response to the outbreak, which included increased fact-checking and removal of misinformation, along with dedicated News Feed notifications for users in relevant regions, as guided by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Facebook coronavirus alert

Now Facebook’s expanding on that initial announcement.

In a post on his personal Facebook profile, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has outlined a range of additional measures, including:

  • Providing the WHO with as many free ads as it needs to maximize its coronavirus response. Zuckerberg says it’s also providing “support and millions more in ad credits” to other organizations working to reach and raise awareness of the outbreak in impacted regions.
  • Blocking people from running ads which seek to exploit the situation. Facebook detailed the action it’s taking on this front last week
  • Providing anonymized Facebook data, including mobility data and population density maps, to help organizations to better understand how the virus is spreading.

In addition to this, and outside of Facebook itself, Zuckerberg also says that The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is providing resources and support to map the cell structure of COVID-19, with a view to developing a vaccine. 

“Researchers are now using this to investigate potential ways to limit lung damage and address the symptoms of coronavirus. This is one of the fundamental ideas behind CZI – to do basic scientific research to create building blocks that health organizations can use to find cures for diseases.”

Zuckerberg also says that Facebook is working on more ideas to assist, with further announcements to come.

As noted, Facebook’s scale now makes it one of the key platforms for sharing information, and all Government organizations should be working in partnership with the platform in times of crisis to ensure optimal delivery of alert and awareness information. Whether you like it or not, or agree with its data-tracking processes, Facebook’s reach is undeniable – a recent report showed that around 75% of the people across the world who are able to access Facebook’s apps are doing so, an incredibly high penetration rate. 

Given this, it’s good to see Facebook taking on more responsibility to assist, and provide assistance where it can.



LinkedIn Adds New Features for Company Pages, Including Post Templates and Link Stickers



LinkedIn has outlined its latest batch of updates for Company Pages, most of which had already been previewed in some capacity, but are now being rolled out on a broader basis.

First off, LinkedIn’s making its new post templates available to all company pages.

LinkedIn post templates

As you can see in these examples, LinkedIn’s post templates, as they sound, provide a range of visual enhancements for your LinkedIn updates, which could help to make them stand out in feeds.

LinkedIn originally launched post templates for individual users last month, but now, it’s making them available for Company Page updates as well.

As per LinkedIn:

Create engaging, actionable LinkedIn content easier than ever with customizable templates, available directly in the LinkedIn app, with no third-party tools required.”

I mean, I don’t know that these types of posts really fit with LinkedIn’s professional approach. But then again, as many have noted, LinkedIn is increasingly becoming more like Facebook anyway, with more personal posts and updates that are less focused on professional aspects.

And that seems to be working – LinkedIn’s parent company Microsoft keeps reporting ‘record levels of engagement’ in the app every quarter, so maybe this is actually a good, valuable addition.


We’ll see how people feel about it when every other LinkedIn ‘thinkfluencer’ is posting using these templates. You can access post templates in the mobile app by tapping the ‘use template’ option in the post composer menu.

As an addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making its new link stickers available for Company Pages too, which could help to drive more direct response to your updates.

LinkedIn link sticker

On another front, LinkedIn will also now enable all Company Pages to pin comments beneath their brand posts.

LinkedIn Pinned Comments

The rollout for this feature also started last month, with some users seeing the option to pin comments in the app.

That could be a good way to spark more focused engagement, and highlight top fans, while you could also use this to simply boost interactions by pinning the comment with the most engagement at the top of the reply chain.  

As a reminder, LinkedIn Company Pages can also pin an update for similar purpose.

Finally, LinkedIn has also added a new Our featured commitments’ section for Company Pages, where brands will be able to showcase their most important values.

“Increasingly in today’s market, job seekers are evaluating potential employers based on their values. They’re interested in knowing where companies stand on issues that are important to them, such as DEI, work-life balance, sustainability, etc. To provide greater insight and connections, LinkedIn is enabling employers to highlight these commitments on their LinkedIn company page to define their talent brand and values.” 

Brands will be able to include up to five commitments in their featured commitments section, while you’ll also be able to host content that demonstrates the same, all of which will be displayed in a sub-panel in the ‘About’ section of your Page.

These are some potentially handy updates, with the link stickers and pinned comments standing out as likely the most valuable additions for LinkedIn page managers.


Post templates I’m not as sold on, especially for brands – but then again, there may be ways to use these templates to improve the presentation of your posts, and maybe, that’ll increase overall engagement.

You can read about all of LinkedIn’s latest company page updates here.

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