Facebook has announced a range of new tools to help users celebrate Ramadan, which will once again be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions around the world.
Ramadan is a month-long celebration, which more than 2 billion people will observe around the world. And with many still unable to be physically together for the event, features on social apps take on increased significance in facilitating connection and celebration.
As per Facebook:
"Last year, our community exchanged more than 20 million “Happy Ramadan” posts and comments on Facebook, and WhatsApp video calls spiked on the first day of Eid. Despite the barriers to coming together in person, Ramadan remains a time for generosity, charity and reflection. In 2020, people contributed twice as much to Ramadan-related fundraisers than they did in 2019 across Facebook and Instagram."
To support this, Facebook has launched a new guide to help people celebrate Ramadan, with 30 ideas for Facebook's #MonthofGood initiative.
Facebook will also be collaborating with creators, publishers and NGOs throughout the month to highlight those that are making a positive impact in their communities, while Facebook's also hosting new video content and information sessions linked into the #MonthofGood theme.
"On Facebook, UK-based director Basma Khalifa will host a video series to celebrate today’s changemakers and small businesses in the Muslim community. Also, Teen Vogue Director of Fashion and Beauty Features Tahirah Hairston will moderate a panel about modesty in Western culture and inclusion within the fashion industry."
Facebook's also adding themed stickers in Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, along with camera effects, and new tools in Messenger and Messenger Kids.
Given that the key focus of Ramadan is bringing communities together, the limitations of COVID-19 make it a difficult time for many, which is why it's important for social platforms to provide alternative means to take part, while also staying connected to the broader celebration through posts and stories.
Hopefully, as the vaccine push ramps up around the world, this will be the last year of COVID-19 impacted celebrations around the event, and next year can mark a new beginning of celebrations around Ramadan and the #MonthofGood theme.