Social changes in times of public crisis

This post comes courtesy of Marissa Baker with our Public Relations Global Network partner, HMA Public Relations, in Arizona.


During the current public health crisis, many platforms are pushing to roll out new features sooner rather than later. Video streaming services like Disney+ and Hulu have released highly anticipated movies earlier than planned to offer more entertainment for those practicing social distancing. TikTok has released control features to allow parents to monitor how much time their kids spend and the content they consume on the app since they won’t be at school all day.

Already we have seen Snapchat take preventative measures in containing COVID-19 with a filter that explains proper handwashing and social distancing, but that’s not all the app is doing.

In an attempt to calm the stress surrounding COVID-19, Snapchat has released a new feature called “Here For You,” which is designed to connect users with professionals in public and mental health, especially for those dealing with anxiety, depression and bullying.

Snapchat has partnered with World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Crisis Text Line and others to create content about anxieties surrounding COVID-19 and to ensure users are getting accurate and up-to-date information about the virus.

The “Here For You” channel now has a specific section that will deliver this COVID-19 content to around 90% of people ages 13-24.

How do you see other platforms adjusting to the COVID-19 public health crisis?

6 thoughts on “Social changes in times of public crisis

  1. It is so interesting to see how this pandemic is changing how we do practically everything. The social channels that are adapting quickly are so smart to do so.

  2. The smart businesses, like SnapChat, are responding to this pandemic with real value and help for not just their customers, but the world at large. Bravo!

  3. I think it’s great that social channels are responding appropriately to the pandemic – they may not be labeled as social media after this is all said and done – just media.

  4. I applaud SnapChat for providing resources to its audiences who are at high risk for anxiety and depression (and often express that anxiety by spending more and more time on the platform!) And snaps to Verizon wireless who increased our family’s monthly data streaming allotment at no extra charge. I just got a text from them, out of the blue. Talk about ways to surprise and delight! That’s some smart customer retention at relatively little cost to them.

  5. I am impressed that what was once the “disappearing’ social media channel, is stepping up and providing such a great service, especially to their demographic. Smart snap!

  6. I so admire when companies step up and do the right thing. A great opportunity for businesses to support an issue/nonprofit creating positive change during these challenging times.

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