Did you know? Fake news around the coronavirus is constantly surfacing on media platforms, including WhatApp Messenger. WhatsApp is helping professionals across the world to operate remotely, connect with reliable sources of information and is helping to curb distress amongst people. The Facebook-owned platform has made mention that a few new features will roll out in the year to come too. As you can see, a lot is happening in and around the platform, if you’re an active user, we highly recommend you stay up to date.
The Messaging platform is a popular app used amongst South Africans, Statista reported in February 2020 that 58% of mobile users in SA are currently using the app.
How can you get accurate information about the coronavirus in South Africa?
WhatsApp has been one of the digital mediums driving day-to-day communications, keeping billions of people connected and updated around topics such as the coronavirus pandemic.
It has also been a go-to source for COVID-19 support. The South African government has provided different ways for you to stay up to date with accurate information around the coronavirus pandemic.
- Call COVID-19 Public Hotline on 0600 123 456
- Send ‘Hi’ to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp or,
- Access the chat via this link – Coronavirus WhatsApp chatline
Anyone that creates or spreads fake news on Covid-19 is liable for prosecution. Report #FakeNews here: Email: email@example.com or send a WhatsApp to: 067 966 4015 https://t.co/wb1yJrQyma #COVID19 #CoronavirusInSA pic.twitter.com/wZy4yutnyy
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) April 7, 2020
How can you operate as an industry professional on WhatsApp?
‘Coronavirus WhatsApp’ has also been a trending search on Google due to its support functions for community leaders like health care professionals, educators, nonprofits, local governments and local businesses – the platform offers useful features for these professionals who will have the ability to engage in WhatsApp groups, via voice messages, video calls and will be able to create a business profile.
The business profile is a notable feature that stands out –
- Connect your website (don’t have one yet? build a website in under 10 minutes)
- Display business operating hours or,
- Setup automated messaging.
What new features can you expect from WhatsApp in 2021?
- Do more with videos – users are already able to trim videos and add text/drawings, now the messaging platform would like to enable a mute feature too.
- No matter the device, make a call – currently users are only able to make WhatsApp call via mobile, it is in the pipeline to make this feature available for desktop devices.
- Archived chats to be replaced with “Read Later” – users will still have the ability to archive the chat however can now mute the chat too, ultimately creating a ‘vacation mode’ for users who not want to receive messages from certain contacts.
- Login on multiple devices, no internet required – this means users will be able to login to 4 devices while not being connected to the internet.
From speech to text messages, communication has been effortless thanks to the internet and various technologies such as WhatsApp, it has also molded the business environment in general, sending a message to another country happens in seconds. As a result of this communication barriers are being closed, it leaves ample room for business opportunities to surface too.