New Delhi: 70% more people are using group video calls and are spending more time than usual watching Facebook and Instagram Live amid the new coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Facebook Messenger to Stop Using Chatbots, Also Removes Discover Tab

At the end of last week, 70% more people participated in group video calls using Facebook Messenger week-over-week, and the amount of time spent on those group video calls has doubled globally. Also Read - Flaw in Facebook Messenger Kids app allowed children to chat with strangers



Similarly, voice and video calls on WhatsApp have more than doubled year-over-year in the places most impacted by the virus, CNET reported on Monday. Also Read - Facebook Messenger may soon let you watch videos with friends as you chat

Today we’re announcing two initiatives to help government health organizations in their response to the coronavirus outbreak using Messenger.



Facebook on Monday announced it will help government health organizations and UN health agencies connect with its developer partners who will help them use Messenger most effectively to scale their response to COVID-19.

“Our developer partners will provide their services for free, showing these critical organizations how to use Messenger to share timely information with local communities and speed up their replies to commonly asked questions with tools like automated responses,” said the social networking giant.

The company said it is also starting an online hackathon and inviting developers to build messaging solutions that address issues related to the coronavirus such as social distancing and access to accurate information.

Participants will receive unique access to Messenger tools and content as well as educational materials from Facebook to support their innovation.

“The winners will get mentoring from Facebook engineers to help make their idea a reality,” said Facebook.