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More Than 140 Million Businesses Use our Apps Every Month: Facebook

Businesses can also set up an away message for days when they are closed or on vacation and create saved replies to answer commonly asked questions

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook has announced that more than 140 million businesses use its apps every month to find new customers, hire employees or engage with their communities.

Michelle Klein, VP of Global Business Marketing, said Facebook is opening up 17 of its largest offices and hubs around the world to host “Boost with Facebook Holiday Bootcamp”, a training programme designed to help small businesses and non-profits learn how to grow their business and get ready for the holiday shopping season.

“We know holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses, so having the right resources and skills to manage your business during this time is critical,” Klein said in a blog post on Thursday.

The “Boost with Facebook Holiday Bootcamp” will welcome small businesses to Facebook offices in New York City, Menlo Park, Austin, Chicago, London, Dublin, Berlin, Madrid, Warsaw, Istanbul, Lagos, Johannesburg, SA¿o Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Singapore and the Philippines.

Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Earlier this year, Facebook enabled businesses to manage their messages from Messenger and Instagram Direct in a single location from their Facebook Page Inbox.

“During the holiday season, we”ll introduce new features to Instagram Direct messages to help businesses manage customer communications more seamlessly and efficiently across our apps,” said Facebook.

Also Read: Google Working on the New 5G Smartphone

In the coming weeks, said Facebook, it will roll out tools like instant replies to let businesses automatically respond to initial messages and give people more information about their business or let them know their typical response time.

Businesses can also set up an away message for days when they are closed or on vacation and create saved replies to answer commonly asked questions. (IANS)

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Fake Ads on Facebook Spreading Rumours About anti-HIV Drugs

"Facebook and Instagram immediately remove the advertisements outlined above that are harming public health," it added

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Fake ads on Facebook are spreading rumours about the ill-effect of anti-HIV drugs, targeting LGBTQ Facebook and Instagram users and are causing significant harm to public health, a non-profit organization GLAAD has written in a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“We are urgently reaching out to Facebook and Instagram regarding factually inaccurate advertisements which suggest negative health effects of Truvada PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).

“We request that Facebook and Instagram remove the advertisements and also publicly address the misinformation that the platforms allowed to spread,” the non-profit organization said in the letter.

Using Facebook’s and Instagram’s targeted advertising programs, various law firms are attempting to recruit gay and bisexual men who use Truvada PrEP as an HIV preventative to join a lawsuit, claiming that the drug has caused harmful side effects in this patient population, specifically bone density and kidney issues.

“This is despite numerous studies underscoring the safety of TDF in HIV-negative PrEP users,” said GLAAD.

Leading public health officials, medical professionals, and dedicated PrEP navigators and outreach coordinators have shared that these advertisements on Facebook and Instagram are being directly cited by at-risk community members expressing heightened fears about taking PrEP.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that when taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV from sex or injection drug use.

“Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99 per cent when taken daily.”

HIV test price in Delhi, HIV in Delhi, STD test in Delhi
HIV is a virus that impairs the body’s immune system badly and eventually takes the patient closer. Pixabay

By allowing these advertisements to persist on their platforms, said the letter, Facebook and Instagram are convincing at-risk individuals to avoid PrEP, invariably leading to avoidable HIV infections.

“You are harming public health.”

Facebook was yet to comment on the letter.

Facebook’s Advertising Policy regarding misinformation in ads states that “Facebook prohibits ads that include claims debunked by third-party fact checkers or, in certain circumstances, claims debunked by organizations with particular expertise.”

Also Read: Zomato in Advanced Talks with Uber to Buy Uber Eats

We are the organizations with “particular expertise,” said GLAAD.

They demanded immediate action to ameliorate the harm which has already been caused to those who may be seeking preventative treatment against HIV.

“Facebook and Instagram immediately remove the advertisements outlined above that are harming public health,” it added. (IANS)