Twitter Announces Updates to Ease COVID-19 Resource Searches in India
Photo Credit: Twitter India
Twitter is bringing updates to its platform to help those people who are seeking assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic. As a large number of Twitter users in India are asking others for information on hospital beds, oxygen, medicine, and food, the microblogging platform has launched a COVID-19 SOS: Resources page that will update in real time to inform people about the essentials they need. Twitter is also starting to show a prompt in the timeline of its users with links to sources providing information about COVID-19 vaccinations. Separately, there are various third-party tools that let you quickly find where you can get essentials such as beds, medicines, and oxygen to fight the ongoing crisis.
On Monday, Twitter announced that it has introduced the COVID-19 SOS Resources page in India that will show tweets providing details about essentials such as hospital beds, medicines, and oxygen in real-time. It is aimed to amplify SOS calls and help people looking for important resources. The COVID-19 SOS Resources page is also visible in India through the Explore tab.
Additionally, Twitter announced that starting this week, users will see a prompt on their timeline that will link to sources about the safety, efficacy, and news of COVID-19 vaccinations from various public health experts. This change will be available to Twitter users globally in the coming days. A panel with similar information is already visible in the Explore tab under the COVID-19 section, called ‘COVID-19 Vaccines: Know the facts’. Information in this panel is said to have been verified by official sources including the World Health Organization (WHO) about COVID-19 vaccines.
Twitter has also brought a COVID-19 India Live page that provides livestreaming from official sources providing updates on the pandemic. The Explore tab will also have a page called ‘COVID-19: How to protect yourself’ that will show tips and thoughts about how you should protect against the deadly virus.
In addition to the updates, Twitter has started educating people about how they can use the advanced search functionality on the platform to find details about essentials. The company tweeted the information on Tuesday in Hindi to reach a wider audience in India.
लोग ट्विटर का इस्तेमाल जानकारी, अस्पताल और दवाइयों तक पहुँचने के लिए कर रहें हैं । लोगों का शुरू किया ये अभियान जैसे जैसे आगे ज़ोर पकड़ रहा है, हम आपको कुछ ऐसे फीचर्स का याद दिलाना चाहते है जिस से आप स्वास्थ्य सम्बंधित जानकारी जल्दी ढूंढ सकें #कोविड१९भारतसेवा
— Twitter India (@TwitterIndia) April 27, 2021
You can use advanced search on Twitter to find a particular hashtag, phrase, or keyword. You can also add keywords that you want to omit from your search results. Similarly, there are options to include certain accounts that you want to be a part of your search. You can also select a particular date set within which you are looking for any particular search results.
By using advanced search, you can find details about a particular resource, such as a medicine or oxygen concentrator. You can also switch to the Latest tab after using the advanced search to look for the newest tweets about the searched topic.
Third parties have also made Web-based tools that fetch results from Twitter in real time using its APIs. These tools include https://covidtools.in/ and http://indiacovidresources.in/ that allows you to find some of the recent tweets from people sharing details about essentials including hospital beds, oxygen, medicines, and food.
However, it is important to note that the information shared by third parties is not always verified. It has also been noticed that due to massive demand, the leads available on Twitter may not help with the resources required every time.
Why did LG give up on its smartphone business? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 22:00), we talk about the new co-op RPG shooter Outriders. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.