WhatsApp has launched a new sticker pack, in conjunction with the WHO, to help spread key health messaging among its user base, in order to reduce the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
We worked together with @WHO on a new 'Together at Home' sticker pack to help people stay connected throughout this moment and beyond. Send an air high five, celebrate our medical heroes, or show love to a personal hero in your life. Available now in your WhatsApp. pic.twitter.com/6xjKylYzRd— WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) April 21, 2020
As explained by WhatsApp:
"We’re excited to work with The World Health Organization to launch the “Together at Home” sticker pack that will help people stay connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Stickers like these can be funny, educational and universal, breaking through language, age, and other barriers."
The stickers look to reinforce a range of key health measures, including hand washing, social distancing and staying active.
And they may prove to be an important addition - according to WhatsApp, stickers have become the fastest-growing way that people communicate via WhatsApp message, with billions of stickers now being sent every day in the app.
That's important, because while COVID-19 is now, seemingly, reaching its peak in many western nations, it's still yet to take hold in others, including African nations, where predictions are that it will have a huge impact. Indeed, the WHO has warned that Africa could become the next coronavirus epicenter, with major human and economic ramifications for developing communities.
WhatsApp is the most used messaging app in many of these areas, which makes simple messaging tools like these important for distributing and underlining key health directives.
As such, while it may seem like a relatively minor update, the stickers could serve a critical role, helping to not only reduce the impact of misinformation, but also boost community understanding around mitigation measures.
WhatsApp's “Together at Home” sticker pack is available in nine languages - Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. You can access the new stickers in the app from today.