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As consumers, we have been inundated with messages about how companies are responding to COVID-19. As marketers, we have been overwhelmed by digital platforms’ response to the pandemic. We have rounded up each platform’s response, including changes they’re making, in one easy guide. These last few months mark a time where platforms reverse their bad reputations and demonstrate their useful, and in some cases lifesaving, tools for consumers. It’s estimated that Instagram and Facebook have driven a combined 1B users to accurate COVID-19 resources. 

Here’s how digital channels have adapted since the beginning of the coronavirus.

Facebook:  Facebook has one of the most robust responses to COVID-19. 

  • Expanding community help offering to let neighborhoods know that individuals are available to lend a helping hand 
  • Temporarily pausing store traffic objective offerings 
  • Creating a resource hub for coronavirus information from reliable sources like the CDC 
  • Offering small business grants for companies affected by the virus 

Google: Google focused on innovation, data collection, and reliable information in the age of corona. 

  • Apple and Google are teaming up to release contact tracing to help follow and contain spread of the virus. Of course, individuals and politicians alike have questions about privacy 
  • Google is releasing 5 principles to guide media teams in the wake of COVID-19
  • Google is offering a resource hub for COVID-19

Pinterest:  The name(s) of the game for Pinterest have been entertainment and information accuracy. 

  • Pinterest is entertaining the masses by putting together a board to “Stay Safe and Stay Inspired”
  • Pinterest limiting search results on terms like “coronavirus,” so that Pinners only see reliable information from WHO
  • Pinterest’s CEO launching a self-reporting app to track coronavirus symptoms 
  • Pinterest launching a “Today” tab on their site compiling the latest news from health officials

Instagram: On 3/24, Instagram posted an update detailing their response plan. Here are the main updates according to their site

  • Including more educational resources in Instagram Search
  • Adding stickers to promote accurate information
  • Removing COVID-19 accounts from recommendations, unless posted by a credible health organization
  • Rolling out the donation sticker in more countries and helping people find relevant nonprofits to support
  • Creating a shared story to help those practicing social distancing connect with others, using a “Stay Home” sticker
  • Launching a new way to browse Instagram with friends over video chat
  • Netflix and Instagram are partnering to launch a new IG Live series on how to cope during the pandemic 

Twitter:  Twitter has gone to extreme lengths to quell virus misinformation. 

  • Both Twitter and Google banned ads that mentioned COVID-19 in an effort to avoid appearing like they’re profiting from the crisis. The policy also aims to ban promotion of ineffective virus treatments. Since the initial announcement, Twitter has amended their policy to allow certain brands to mention the virus if they feel the messaging benefits the consumer. Basically only managed clients, or clients with a direct relationship with Twitter, can reference the virus
  • Twitter is leaning on their verification system to promote information coming from COVID-19 expert profiles. At long last, the blue checkmark might really signal legitimacy 

reddit:  reddit’s board /r/coronavirus has 1.9 million followers. 

  • reddit is pinning coronavirus information to the top of their page to help users stay informed
  • Hosted an AMA with Bill Gates on the coronavirus

TikTok:  Use of TikTok has skyrocketed since the beginning of  COVID-19, here’s what they’ve changed since the beginning. 

As we all know, coronavirus news changes rapidly and the platforms’ responses will adapt with the latest. We expect to continue to see historic rivals (ahem Google and Apple) become allies in this unprecedented time. Make sure you keep an eye on the latest platform regulations to avoid messaging being blocked by platforms.

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For media inquiries please email fwt@room214.com

Vanessa Kahn

Vanessa Kahn

Vanessa loves to help brands excel through a focus on quality content and a finger on the pulse of current trends. When she’s not researching the latest in the food and wellness industry or crafting the perfect caption for social, you can find her driving up to the mountains with a cappuccino in hand.
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