Facebook’s new Covid-19 alert will remind you to wear a mask in public whenever you open its Facebook or Instagram apps.
The banner, which reads “When in public, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering”, began appearing at the top of users’ Facebook News Feeds and Instagram feeds last week.
Both alerts include a link that takes users to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, while the News Feed banner also features a link to Facebook’s Covid-19 Information Center for more prevention tips.
Facebook announced the new feature in an update to an article titled ‘Keeping People Safe and Informed About the Coronavirus’ last week.
“With the rise in COVID-19 cases in the US, we’re putting an alert at the top of Facebook and Instagram to remind everyone to wear face coverings and find more prevention tips from the CDC in our COVID-19 Information Center”, announced Facebook Head of Health Kang-Xing Jin on Thursday.
While the reminder was created in response to rising Covid-19 cases in the US, it couldn’t arrive at a better time for UK users. With pubs, restaurants and hairdressers beginning to reopen this week, it’s more important than ever for us all to remember to wear masks where they are required. Considering how often users check their Facebook and Instagram feeds, this update could be just the reminder many users need to pick up their masks on the way out the house.
The new mask alert isn’t the only action Facebook has taken to support users during the pandemic.
The company has attempted to combat misinformation on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp and has banned exploitative advertisements, along with ads for face masks, hand sanitisers, disinfecting wipes and Covid-19 test kits.