Facebook Just Gave Its Safety Check Feature More Muscle

Safety Check was introduced in October 2014, and it has been activated more than 600 times

Facebook Wednesday announced four updates to its Safety Check feature: the addition of Fundraisers within Safety Check, expanded availability of the social network’s Community Help features, personal notes for better context and crisis descriptions.

The social network introduced Safety Check in October 2014, and vice president of social good Naomi Gleit said in a Newsroom post that it has been activated more than 600 times.

Facebook said in an email to Social Pro Daily that more than 22,000 users donated more than $450,000 through the social network to support the One Love Manchester Fund, adding that following floods in Brazil last month, there were some 9,000 listings from local people offering and seeking help in Community Help.

Gleit provided further details on the four updates to Safety Check:

Introducing Fundraisers in Safety Check: Following a crisis, one way people give and request help is through fundraising. To make this easier, we are introducing Fundraisers in Safety Check (pictured at the top of this post). Within Safety Check, people will be able to create or donate to a fundraiser for charitable and personal causes to help those in need. Fundraising provides a way for people who are also outside of the crisis area to offer help. Fundraisers in Safety Check will start to roll out in the coming weeks in the U.S.

Expanding Community Help: Since we launched Community Help earlier this year on iOS and Android, we have been inspired by the offers and requests for help generated by the community and want to make sure that those in need are able to access Community Help through any platform. Community Help will be available in the upcoming weeks on desktop, giving people another way to access the tool. Additionally, Community Help is now available for all crises where Safety Check is activated.

Adding more context with a personal note: After marking themselves safe, people share additional information to help reassure friends they are safe and to provide more context about the crisis. To make this easier, people can now add a personal note to tell their friends more about what’s happening from within the Safety Check tool. This note will appear in the News Feed story that is automatically generated when people mark themselves safe.

Introducing crisis descriptions: When people receive Safety Check notifications, they may have limited information about the crisis. To help provide additional context on crises and make sure people have the information that they need, we have started adding descriptions about the crisis from NC4, our trusted third party global crisis reporting agency.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.