Here’s some of what happened in the search engine and social media industries from 21st to 27th March 2020.
1. Facebook Messenger launches new COVID-19 Community Hub
Facebook has launched a new Coronavirus Community Hub for Messenger that will highlight key ways for people to communicate during the COVID-19 lockdowns. It also includes specific knowledge areas for parents, educators, business, health organisations, etc.
The new hub also has links to tools for government organisations and agencies.[source]
2. Spotify’s Music Relief Project
Spotify recently announced it will work with organisations such as MusiCares, PRS Foundation and Help Musicians to offer relief to the media industry in the midst of COVID-19.
The company will not only donate to these companies but also match up around $10 million through their project. Also, the platform intends to enable fundraising for artists from their fans directly through their artist page.[source]
3. Tweets on COVID-19 by verified accounts to be prioritised
Twitter published a PSA informing users that tweets on COVID-19 posted by verified handles will be prioritised over regular accounts. These will not just be any blue-tick accounts.
The prioritisation will require handles to mention their institutional affiliation in their Twitter bio along with a link to an official web page.[source]
4. Snapchat adds dedicated COVID-19 Update section
To keep its users informed about the latest updates on COVID-19, Snapchat is adding a dedicated feed on coronavirus news to the top of the Discover tab.
The section will feature updates from key news sources, Snapchat’s team and also health bodies such as WHO and UK’s NHS.[source]
5. Bing announces SpecialAnnouncement structured data
Microsoft’s Bing now supports the SpecialAnnouncement data type for coronavirus-related business, travel, government health agency and test centre update.
Applying this markup can help you produce your own special announcement with a link to your website in the web and local search results. Businesses and agencies can avail this facility to communicate important updates from within search results.[source]