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Messenger Launches WHO ‘Health Alert’ Bot to Provide COVID-19 Information



Facebook has partnered with the World Health Organization to launch a new chatbot on Messenger which will provide users with accurate, timely info about the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO Messenger bot

As explained by Messenger:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched an interactive experience on Messenger, with support from Sprinklr, to help provide accurate and timely information on the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO will be leveraging Messenger’s reach to more than 1.3 billion monthly active users who will now be able to ask questions and get quick answers from the WHO’s “Health Alert” interactive service on Messenger, which is free to use.”

The new chatbot, which can be accessed via the WHO Facebook Page or via Messenger link, will make it easier for users to get up to the minute information, direct from the WHO, at any time. 

It’s essentially the same tool that WhatsApp launched with the WHO last month, which is also being used to provide data to government agencies to distribute key updates about the pandemic.

WhatsApp WHO bot

With messaging volume increasing by more than 50% in some of the hardest hit regions, and messaging apps being a key connective tool in many remote areas, adding new tools to facilitate the flow of accurate information about the pandemic could play a key role in controlling the outbreak, while having official information on hand, at any time, could also help to dispel misinformation which has been gaining traction through messaging platforms

The tool is relatively basic, but it will help to connect billions of people to critical updates – and Facebook notes that 12 million people have already used the WhatsApp WHO bot.

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The new WHO “Health Alert” service is now available in Messenger.



Meta Adds Updated Congressional District Data to Location Targeting Options for Ads



Meta Adds Updated Congressional District Data to Location Targeting Options for Ads

Meta has announced an update to its US location targeting options for ads, with US congressional districts, as defined by the 2020 census, to be added as additional geo-targeting options.

As explained by Meta:

Starting May 19, 2022, an additional set of location targeting options will be available for updated US congressional districts following the US 2020 census. These will be added to all ads interfaces (including the API) and will be denoted with “2020-census”. For example, North Carolina’s updated district 5 will be available in location targeting as “North Carolina’s 5th District-2020-Census, United States”.”

It’s a small change in the broader scheme, but could have big implications for those targeting ads based on political announcements or movements, with the more specific location qualifiers providing more considerations for your ad approach.

Meta also notes that as new congressional districts are finalized, it will make them available in its ads interfaces.

“If a state’s updated congressional map is currently in litigation, there will not be a new targeting option for it yet. If an updated congressional district isn’t available yet, we recommend using other location targeting options based on locations such as, such as targeting postal codes, cities and counties.”

So you have various options for geo-targeting your ad campaigns, but the updated districts will provide more accurate audience estimate data, and more specific focus on electoral zones.


The current, pre-2020 census congressional district targeting options will remain available to advertisers through to the beginning of 2023.

“These districts’ names and boundaries will remain the same. For example, North Carolina’s pre-2020 census district will be available as “North Carolina’s 5th District, United States”.

Again, it’s not a major change, but it does provide more insight into how Meta’s US ad targeting regions are defined, which could have specific value for businesses looking to target ads based on political impacts, interests, regional preferences, etc.

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And with Apple’s ATT prompts taking a chunk out of Meta’s data tracking, you need all the tools you can to maximize ad performance. Up to date location and population data can only help in assessing potential impact.

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