Facebook updates Safety Check feature to assuage friends and families’ fears

Crisis Response Hub
Emevil/123RF
Facebook has updated its Safety Check feature in hopes of making it easier for users to keep their friends and family up to speed in times of crisis. The social media giant has introduced Fundraisers, expanded Community Help, and introduced crisis descriptions to Safety Check. It will also allow users to add more context about their status in the case of an emergency, giving their loved ones crucial status updates as they become necessary.

The company’s Fundraisers addition will allow users to create or donate to a fundraiser for either a charitable or personal cause, thereby directly aiding those in need following a disaster — natural or otherwise. Given that many crises often call for financial aid in the immediate aftermath, Facebook is making this process a bit more efficient by allowing folks to create Fundraisers almost immediately. The company notes that the feature will also allow people who are otherwise removed from the crisis to help in some capacity. Fundraiser is slated to roll out in the next few weeks in the United States.

Facebook will also be expanding Community Help to desktop. Originally launched in early 2017 on iOS and Android, the feature is meant to help people in disaster zones find one another more easily and provide or ask for help. The feature has also been made available for all crises in which Safety Check has been activated.

Crisis descriptions are meant to help Facebook users, both in affected areas and around the world, obtain more information about the situation at hand. Thanks to a partnership with NC4, a third-party global crisis reporting agency, Facebook will begin adding additional context on crises and providing people with important data that could save their lives.

Finally, Facebook users will now be able to share additional information with friends and family after marking themselves as safe. Should they choose to, they can attach a personal note from within the Safety Check tool, which will appear automatically in their friends’ News Feed stories.

Mobile

Hey Google, why did you kill off Allo, your best messaging app in years?

Allo, Google's messaging app, has shut down. I convinced my closest friends and family to switch to the app two-and-a-half years ago when it debuted, and we've been using it since. With its death, I'm feeling pain and sadness.
Computing

Latest Skype preview now lets you chat with up to 50 people on a video call

The latest beta version of Skype is introducing an ability to enter a video call with up to 50 people, a change from the current public version which has a maximum limit of 25 participants.
Gaming

Need a bot to watch your Discord chat while you're away? Here's how to make one

Gaming-centric online chat app Discord has a lot of uses, but to get the most out of your server, you might want to think about automation. Discord bots can help, taking care of minor functions like listing the rules of your server.
Mobile

App schools fishing fans on the best time and place to hook that dream catch

Fishbrain, a fishing social network and forecasting app, has introduced BiteTime, a new feature that takes the guesswork out of when and where you are most likely to catch a certain species of fish.
Photography

Selfie snapper attacked by jaguar during foolhardy photo attempt

Selfies with animals don't always work out too well, as a woman at a zoo in Arizona found out recently. Passing a safety barrier to get closer to a jaguar, the animal responded angrily by digging its claws into her flesh.
Social Media

Twitter wants you to help shape the future design of its app

Twitter is launching an app for testing new design features and it wants you to get involved. Those accepted into the program will have the chance to try out different conversation designs aimed at improving the user experience.
Emerging Tech

Professional drone racing is flying onto Twitter this summer

Professional drone racing is coming to Twitter for the first time this summer. Organizers hope the streaming deal with the social media platform will help the growing sport to further broaden its audience.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.
Social Media

Yep, it’s not just you. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for many

Facebook's family of apps has been suffering issues for much of the day. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook itself have been out of action for users around the world, with the company scrambling to sort it out.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.