Snapchat has this week provided an update on the efforts it's undertaking to ensure that its users are getting accurate, timely information about the COVID-19 outbreak as it seeks to play its part in the global information push around the pandemic.
First off, Snap says that it's working with the World Health Organization and US Centers for Disease Control to help ensure that Snapchatters are getting the latest information on the situation from expert sources.
"WHO publishes regular updates from their Official Account, and we’ve worked with their team to develop custom content to answer questions from the Snapchat community."
In addition to this, Snapchat has also worked with the WHO on a new AR filter which includes key information about how people can reduce their risk of infection amid the outbreak.
Kudos to @Snapchat & @WHO for launching this new filter today to help people reduce their risk of #coronavirus infection. Please share it. #COVID19 #snapchatfilter (awesome job @sofiargross) pic.twitter.com/JYBE0aukHk— Laurie Keith (@lauriekeith) March 13, 2020
It's also added some new stickers to help promote health measures during the outbreak.
Snapchat also notes that it's able to deliver accurate content via its Discover platform because Discover content is already vetted and curated, reducing the risk of misinformation.
"Our content platform, Discover, is curated and we work closely with only a select set of partners, including some of the most trusted news organizations around the world. We do not offer an open news feed where unvetted publishers or individuals have an opportunity to broadcast misinformation, and our guidelines prohibit Snapchatters and our partners from sharing content that deceives or deliberately spreads false information."
Snapchat's publishing eco-system is much smaller than other networks in this respect, but the advantage of that, as noted, is that Snap can better control what goes up on its platform, which is proving valuable in this instance.
In addition to this, Snapchat has also highlighted the latest discussion rising trends within the app, which reflect the community concern around the COVID-19 outbreak.
Snapchat may be smaller than the other major social networks, in terms of overall users, but the app remains hugely popular among younger user groups. As such, keeping its audience informed is critical. One of the key concerns around closing schools, for example, has been that it could lead to more young people gathering in the streets, and potentially contributing to the further spread of the virus.
Ensuring these audiences are getting accurate, relevant information around the outbreak could play an important role in limiting community infection.