Facebook is the most popular social media website in the world. Studies have shown that Facebook tends to make users depressed with people comparing themselves to their friends. Facebook Messenger is making efforts to include photo filters as a gateway to reaching out to others about their mental health issues.
Facebook Messenger’s Photo Filter
Facebook is trying to create new features on its social media platform to encourage supportive mental health discussions. The company has revealed its private messaging service, Messenger, a “Let’s Talk” photo feature. This invites peers who are struggling with their mental health to privately reach out and speak to other users openly. A Facebook spokesperson has shown that even though social media has been trying to de-stigmatize mental health, members are still not comfortable letting others know their mental health story. Since Messenger is private messaging, this can make sharing your story with others more intimate and personal.
Facebook also has a sticker pack that can help you send pictures when it is hard to find the words to what you feel. Every time that a sticker is sent, Facebook will send $1 to mental health organizations like Crisis Text Line, Save.org, and others. The stickers are not tracked by the people who have sent them but only by the stickers sent in collections.
The Importance of Facebook’s Messenger Efforts
Facebook has 2 billion monthly active users and 1.5 billion visits to the site every day. With so many people being members on the site, any efforts Facebook makes can have a huge impact on the online community. Facebook was created to strengthen relationships and communities with each other. By knowing that so many people out there are tackling with mental illness, this can help bridge the gaps and de-stigmatize the shame that people feel when talking about mental illness.
Other Facebook Efforts
Facebook is doing other things to bring more awareness to mental health. There is an AI-based suicide detection tool along with suicide prevention support on Facebook Live as well as Facebook groups for mental health support. More technology like this can prevent loneliness. Social media sites with a huge following have a responsibility to make sure that members are not isolated from each other and that they share a common ground. Facebook Messenger’s photo filter app will encourage others to be brave enough to have these conversations on mental illness and treatment.
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