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WhatsApp Launches World Health Organization Chatbot to Answer COVID-19 Queries

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Following on from the launch of its new COVID-19 information hub earlier this week, WhatsApp has also announced the launch of a new chatbot, created in conjunction with the World Health Organization, which will provide access to accurate, timely information on the coronavirus pandemic to the app’s 2 billion users.

WhatsApp COVID-19 chatbot

As explained by WhatsApp:

The new service, which is free to use, has been designed to answer questions from the public about Coronavirus, and to give prompt, reliable and official information 24 hours a day, worldwide. This will also serve government decision-makers by providing the latest numbers and situation reports.”

To use the service, WhatsApp users can save the number (+41 79 893 1892) to their phone contacts, then text the word ‘Hi’ in a WhatsApp message to begin. The bot will then respond via a series of prompts, covering key queries and information – and ideally, dispelling some of the rumors and misinformation around the outbreak which have been spreading via social and messaging apps.

Indeed, various reports have singled out WhatsApp as a key source of such campaigns. 

According to a new report in The Guardian, WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, and massive reach, have made it a tool of choice for many misinformation campaigns, ranging from false “cures” to military intervention to turning an indoor football pitch into a giant oven to cook lasagne for the needy (yes, seriously).

As per The Guardian:

“More traditional social networks such as Facebook and search engines such as Google have made substantial efforts to crack down on coronavirus misinformation, but messages on WhatsApp are encrypted and untraced, which means claims can be viewed by tens of millions of people without being fact-checked by authorities or news organizations. It’s relatively easy for a Facebook moderator to remove a public post that breaks the services’ rules, but the encryption WhatsApp uses means that no one other than those involved in a conversation can see the material shared and relies on individuals self-policing their conversations.”

And again, given WhatsApp’s reach, that could be a significant problem – WhatsApp is by far the leading messaging app in many regions, and is particularly popular in developing markets. As such, the ability to access accurate information via the app is essential to limiting COVID-19’s spread.

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Hopefully this new chatbot will go a way towards dispelling myths and misinformation. WhatsApp is also reportedly in talks with the NHS in the UK on creating a similar chatbot tool, while it’s also working with the Singapore Government, The Israel Ministry of Health, the South Africa Department of Health, and KOMINFO Indonesia to help inform citizens in these regions.

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The new WHO Health Alert bot is initially launching in English, but will also be available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish within the next few weeks.

Socialmediatoday.com

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TikTok Launches New ‘Branded Mission’ Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

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TikTok Launches New 'Branded Mission' Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

TikTok’s looking to make it easier for creators to make money from their clips via a new program that it’s calling ‘Branded Mission’, which will enable creators to take part in what’s essentially branded content challenges, with the brand then able to select from the submitted clips for their promotional campaigns.

As explained by TikTok:

“To make it easier for brands to tap into the creative power of TikTok communities and co-create authentic branded content that resonates with users, we’re launching Branded Mission. Branded Mission is an industry-first ad solution that enables advertisers to crowdsource authentic content from creators on TikTok, turn top-performing videos into ads, and improve brand affinity with media impressions.”

As outlined in the above video, the process will enable brands to post challenges, which creators with over 1k followers will then be able to participate in.

“TikTok creators can decide what Branded Missions they’re inspired by and choose to participate in the Mission. Brands will select their favorite original creative videos and amplify them through promoted ad traffic.”

The chosen creators then get a cash payment, though the payment amounts, at least at this stage, won’t vary based on individual video performance.

Instead, each Mission will list earnings potential, based on how much the brand is willing to pay.

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Allocate more cash and you’ll pique the interest of more users, expanding the potential of tapping into a viral hit.

The option will broaden the creative options for brands, and with organic-styled content performing best on the platform, it could open up major new possibilities for marketers looking for ways to tap into the app.

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It’ll also provide TikTok with another critical revenue-share element. Clearly the app of the moment, if TikTok wants to maximize its opportunities, it needs to ensure that its top creators get paid – because with more lucrative monetization offers available on other platforms, it logically makes sense that big-name stars will follow the cash, and focus on those platforms instead.

But monetizing short-form video is harder than longer content, which is why TikTok is also rolling out 10-minute clips, and emphasizing live-streaming, as a means to drive more money-making opportunities.

Branded Mission is another step in this direction, which will ideally provide a more direct link between creating content in your own style and making money, without having to incorporate merchandise sales or arrange your own affiliate deals.

Interestingly, Meta is trying out similar on Instagram, where product tags were recently expanded to all users.

Instagram product tags

Creators don’t get paid for adding these tags, not yet at least, but you can see how Meta could eventually take a similar approach to provide creators with more revenue opportunities.

For TikTok, the process could make it much easier to bring in cash for your uploads, expanding well beyond the Creator Fund, which top creators have already been highly critical of.

You will, of course, need to create specific, themed videos, as opposed to YouTube, where you upload what you like and switch on ads. But it’s a fairly distanced relationship from the sponsor brands, which reduces management workload, while also providing new content prompts.

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It’s a good idea, and as more and more brands look to tap into the app – especially as it surges towards 1.5 billion users – you can bet that it’ll be a popular option for a range of ad partners.

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TikTok says that Branded Mission is now in beta testing, and is available to brands in more than a dozen markets. The option will be made available in more regions throughout the year.

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