Coronavirus epidemic has wreaked havoc worldwide and people are panicking over the surge of COVID-19 cases in their area. But, on the positive side, social media usage has grown more than ever as people are now realizing the true power of it. Several video call and messaging apps are also getting boost from coronavirus. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp have seen a big uptick in new downloads. While social media apps are helping people remain connected in a good way, they have also become the source of misinformation. Also Read - WhatsApp Pay won't launch in India without compliance
It is a known fact that WhatsApp is the most popular app and spreading false information through it just takes one click. As a message spreads like a wildfire on WhatsApp, the time needed to analyze and assess information is very less. But, WhatsApp has been doing its bit to prevent misinformation, especially during this time. WhatsApp has partnered with the World Health Organization, so that users can get verified coronavirus news directly from WHO. This will help stop the spread of fake COVID-19 news and one will also be able to check the authenticity of message forwards on WhatsApp. Also Read - WhatsApp Web to get Facebook Messenger Rooms shortcuts; Here is the first look at the feature
Watch: How to get dark mode on WhatsApp
Apart from WHO, the Facebook-owned company has also teamed up with the Government of India for a similar purpose. There is a WhatsApp bot, called MyGov Corona Helpdesk, which provides a number of information, including tips related to the pandemic. Since its launch, they have already dealt with over 32 million conversations on the messaging app, which is huge. WhatsApp even imposed a new limit on the forwards, which it claims helped drop 70 percent of “highly forwarded messages” sent on the platform. Also Read - WhatsApp Pay to launch in India by end of this month: Report
WhatsApp is playing a major role both in helping offer verified Coronavirus news as well as being a great all-in-one communication tool. The biggest reason behind the popularity of WhatsApp is its simplicity and vast amount of features it offers on Android and iOS. The one thing that has helped the messaging app the most is the constant upgrades and timely addition of new features that are on-demand and useful too.
During these times when users are looking for video applications, popular apps like Telegram don’t offer video or voice calling features. The company is now planning to add them soon. WhatsApp, on the other hand, already offers the calling features, which is helping people get in touch with friends and family in the simplest way. WhatsApp just recently released an update for the video call feature and now, a total of eight users can participate in a video call. To start a group video call, users can initiate the call directly from a group chat or separately add people in the Calls section.
Since its inception, WhatsApp has remained an ad-free messenger app, which has also worked in its favor. But, Facebook has been exploring ways to monetize the popular messaging platform. Earlier this year, several reports surfaced online claiming that the company is planning to add adverts this year. This move might force a lot of messaging users to switch to other ad-free messaging apps in 2020. It remains to be seen how cleverly the company plans to add ads without harming users’ experience and losing engagement scores.