Facebook’s new Messenger hub shares tips for staying connected virtually

It has ideas for parents, educators, businesses and government organizations.

Today, Facebook launched a new "Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub," which so far basically just explains how people, communities and businesses can use Messenger to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic. If you already use Messenger, this isn't going to introduce any groundbreaking ideas or features. Instead, the hub will provide tips like how parents and educators, for example, can host virtual playdates or use voice and video calls to check in on students and colleagues.

The hub combines some of Facebook's other efforts -- like initiatives to fight the spread of misinformation and connect developers with organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and UNICEF. It also warns users against scammers, who might try to take advantage of the pandemic to carry out attacks.

While Facebook has struggled to keep up with "unprecedented" traffic, it continues to roll out new features like the hub. The company added a coronavirus 'information center' to its News Feed, and it's running free WHO ads to counter false claims. Facebook-owned WhatsApp released a WHO chatbot to share reliable info, and Instagram Stories now have a "Stay Home" sticker.