Facebook’s Virtual Iftaar 2020

We’ve been wondering how the world will cope with social and corporate events that draw large crowds and include a lot of handshakes. Digital platform fills this gap as well with Facebook hosting a Virtual Iftaar with the press to discuss some of their new features to help individuals as well as businesses cope with the lockdown and the pandemic. “We are committed to helping Pakistanis engage in meaningful interactions and build communities on Facebook by continuing to build innovative products and tools, such as Facebook Group, as Pakistanis are turning to Facebook as a force for good,” says Jordi ÊFornies, Director of Emerging Markets for APAC at Facebook. Joining the panel were Khaqan Sikander from doctHERs, a leading telemedicine facility of the country with a Facebook group called Doctor Consultation & Health Advice that provides free medical advice by professionals free of charge and Amneh Shaikh-FarooquiÊfromÊPolly and Other Stories, a local small business owner in Pakistan.

“We also want to make it easy for people to support small medium businesses, entrepreneurs and local shops as businesses fight to stay open and shift online during this challenging time. We believe that supporting them now and in the future is critical for the well-being of the economy,” added Fornies.

Fornies went on to introduce Facebook Messenger’s newest feature called ‘Rooms’, a video call option that allows up to 50 people to join the chatroom with no time limit. You can start and share Rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events, so it’s easy for people to drop by. Soon expect ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal, too.

Facebook also introduces a sticker ‘Support Small’ on Instagram to support SMB that allow people to give their favourite small businesses a shout out on their stories.

Facebook is also expanding the Group Call features on WhatsApp with up to eight people now instead of the maximum of four previously. •

Twitter introduces work from home policy FOREVER

Twitter has told staff that they can work from home "forever" if they wish as the company looks towards the future after the coronavirus pandemic. The decision came as the social media giant said its work-from-home measures during the lockdown had been a success. But it also said it would allow workers to return to the office if they choose when it reopens. Earlier this month Google and Facebook said their staff can work from home until the end of the year. Twitter said: "The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen." The announcement has been described as "an era-defining moment" by one digital innovation expert.