Washington emergency responders are the first to use SpaceX’s Starlink internet, Facebook will be launching cross-platform messaging on Instagram and Messenger, and why social media should be used more to inform young people about Covid-19 in Canada.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, October 1 and I’m your host Baneet Braich.

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Washington emergency responders first to use SpaceX’s Starlink internet in the field: ‘It’s amazing’ from technology

Washington emergency responders are the first to use SpaceX’s Starlink internet and they say the results are a huge success. Washington’s state military began using Starlink in early August to bring internet service to areas damaged by wildfires. Washington state’s emergency telecommunications leader Richard Hall told CNBC, “I have spent the better part of four or five hours with some satellite equipment trying to get a good [connection]. So, to me, it’s amazing,” Starlink internet has been developed to deliver high-speed internet to anywhere on the planet. The full Starlink network is planned to have about 12,000 satellites flying in low Earth orbit which is much closer to the surface than traditional satellites.

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Facebook is launching cross-platform messaging on Instagram and Messenger. Facebook will now integrate various messaging platforms where users on messenger and Instagram to message one another app to app. Instagram will also get a major change in its DM system, which will get more features taken from Messenger. With the cross-platform features, users will also search for profiles across both apps simultaneously. Instagram will get updates like vanishing messages, selfie stickers, custom emoji, chat colours, new ways to block unwanted messages, and Messenger’s Watch Together feature, which lets users collectivity watch videos with friends during a video call.

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The second wave of Covid-19 is largely attributed to younger people. A Toronto Star article about the benefits platforms like TikTok could have on delivering important information about COVID is trending on Twitter. Dr. Naheed Dosani was an early adopter of TikTok to inform younger audiences about Covid-19. His early videos quickly went viral, reaching more than 100,000 people. However, he says social media apps can be better used to effectively communicate with young people. I can’t understand why public health messaging hasn’t prioritized these (social media) platforms for COVID-19 education,” Dosani said. He suggests involving clinicians that use the platforms or influencers and celebrities to get out the proper messaging could be highly effective in convincing younger audiences with bite-sized information. [Twitter thread]

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening.



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