Facebook’s Crisis Response tool now integrates with WhatsApp, the firm announced today. The firm previously allowed users to be able to request for or offer help while in areas beset by disaster using the Messenger app, it has now extended this same functionality to WhatsApp.
While Messenger is a popular messaging platform, WhatsApp just about rivals it. In places like the Middle East and Africa, it may even be more effective for reaching large numbers of people. Facebook’s full Crisis Response feature-set isn’t available through Messenger yet, likely due to a difference in the functionality of both messaging apps.
Crisis Response is also gaining more features. The firm will let witnesses in crisis areas share their experience directly so other users can know what’s going on. Say if there’s a road closure, or a flood, a witness on the ground would now be able to share more detail with photos and videos.
The firm’s disaster maps are also being updated. Facebook says it is correcting them with data drawn from “commute patterns and tourist populations.”
It will now be sharing these maps with local emergency responders as well to help with disaster relief efforts.