As part of its efforts to keep users informed of the latest updates on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Snapchat is this week adding a dedicated feed of coronavirus news to the top of the Discover tab in the app.
As reported by Mashable, the new COVID-19 info panel will highlight the latest updates from key news sources, as vetted by Snapchat’s team. The section will also feature information from health bodies, like the World Health Organization and the U.K.’s National Health Service, while it’ll also put a spotlight on official messages from the White House’s COVID-19 task force and its spokespeople, as well as other government announcements.
In addition to this, Snapchat has also created its own channel for COVID-19 information called “Coronavirus: Slow the Spread”, which will seek to further highlight official messaging around the outbreak. The channel will also feature aggregated Stories from Snapchat users, showing how people are coping with life changes as a result of the lockdowns and announcements.
Snapchat is also adding a new AR game which aims to dispel some of the more common coronavirus myths.
The features are the latest in Snapchat’s tools to help keep its audience informed and up to date on the evolving situation around the world. Last week, Snapchat fast-tracked the launch of its ‘Here For You’ mental health resource center, in order to help provide assistance to users amid rising angst around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Snapchat has also partnered with the World Health Organization and the US Center for Disease Control in order to help ensure that Snapchatters are getting the latest information from expert sources, which includes, among other elements, the launch of a COVID-19 focused Snap Lens that shares key information on how to reduce your risk of infection.
The platform could play a key role in limiting the spread of COVID-19 due to its reach among younger audience segments. While younger people are seemingly less susceptible to the virus, based on initial evidence, new reports have shown that many people may well be carrying and spreading COVID-19 even if they’re not showing any symptoms of the illness. That could be a particularly relevant note for younger groups – if you can have COVID-19 without symptoms, then young people need to also be aware of their potential to contribute to the pandemic, even if they’re feeling fine.
That could also make it extremely difficult to confine – but either way, it’s important that young people are made aware of the potential risks, and understand that they’re not simply immune to the condition.
The new COVID-19 info panel will be launched in the US and UK this week, with further regions to follow.