Written by Yeo Yong Lun, Naini Gupta and Fu You Quan.

Instagram Rolls Out 'Stay Home' Sticker To Promote Social Distancing

As part of social media platforms’ continuous support to contain the spread of COVID-19, Instagram recently added a new ‘Stay Home’ sticker for Instagram Stories.

Besides adding the sticker, Instagram also launched a new ‘group Story’ feature where it curates all the stories of people you follow that include the ‘Stay Home’ sticker. The group Story is automatically the first Story you can view on your Instagram home page.

Separately, Instagram has also banned searches for COVID-19 AR effects and added information panels in the main feed straight from WHO and local health ministries.

So if you’re working from home, we recommend you to put up interesting Stories with the ‘Stay Home’ sticker - perhaps some ideas on how to combat boredom or how to remain productive at home. At the very least, your Story might inspire some of your followers to pick up the activity you’re doing, and who knows? Your Story might even lead to the next viral trend on Instagram.

Coming Soon: Disappearing Messages on Instagram

Inspired by Snapchat's more popular feature, Instagram has prototyped an unreleased temporary text messaging feature that clears the chat thread whenever you leave it. This would make users more comfortable to have silly, vulnerable and risqué conversations, thereby increasing reply notifications that keep people opening Instagram all day long.

Instagram launched disappearing photo & video messaging in February 2018, users can choose whether their chat partners can "view once", "allow replay" multiple times, or "keep in chat" permanently. Technically, one can also use the Create Mode and overlay words on a colored background to send a temporary text, and "unsend" it, but that notifies the recipient.

Eagle-eyed reverse engineering specialist Jane Manchun Wong found something buried deep in code — a new “🙊” mode, labeled in the code with the ‘speak-no-evil’ monkey emoji. Users can enter this mode by swiping up from their Instagram Direct message thread, they will be directed to a dark mode messaging window that starts as an empty message thread. When users exit this window, their conversation clears out. 

The feature is not publicly available. It is still in the early development stage.

World Health Organization launches COVID-19 information service on WhatsApp

WhatsApp together with the World Health Organization launched a new chatbot, which will provide accurate information services on the current coronavirus pandemic.

The chatbot is easy to use for WhatsApp users!

  1. Save the number (+41 79 893 1892)
  2. Type “Hi” in the WhatsApp message to begin
  3. Reply with a number (or emoji) from the list to find out more 

As explained by WhatsApp:

"The new service, which is free to use, has been designed to answer questions from the public about Coronavirus, and to give prompt, reliable and official information 24 hours a day, worldwide. This will also serve government decision-makers by providing the latest numbers and situation reports."

WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption ensures that only you and the person you're communicating with can read what's sent. Nobody in between, not even WhatsApp, can read the messages.

Hopefully, this new chatbot will go a long way dispelling some of the rumors and misinformation around the outbreak which have been spreading via social media. 

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Disclaimer: Featured Image taken from Digital Information World.