As longstanding collaborators in creating effective services that enable citizen access to vital health and welfare information, info4africa and mobile marketing agency, Always Active Mobile (AAM), have launched a Chatbot search facility on Facebook Messenger.

As the country’s most comprehensive database of health, welfare and social support services, info4africa creates and maintains a far-reaching information repository. With more than 6,000 organisations listed on the database, info4africa’s data collection, analysis and update procedures continue unabated.

As an up to date source of important information, info4africa’s key challenge lies in getting information into the hands of those who need it most. info4africa and AAM’s most recent collaboration aims to change this by bringing the information South Africans need to a platform where they are already comfortable: Facebook.

Current estimates show that more than 15 million South Africans are active users of Facebook. Moreover, the majority of those users access Facebook on a mobile device.

While the proliferation of social media platforms, channels and content created by brands and marketers continues to evolve and grow, using Facebook for socially conscious information dissemination is often considered to be nascent.

The new info4africa Messenger Chatbot is based on AAM’s BrandChat Instant Messaging platform, which enable marketers, brands and businesses to interact with their target audiences in unique and instant ways. According to General Manager at AAM, Alan Haarhoff, BrandChat makes it easier to discover, connect and interact with a pre-determined target market through social media platforms like Facebook.

For info4africa, AAM went one step further and automated not only communication, but database searches too.

Anyone looking for information on where to get tested for HIV or to find a health or welfare service provider can now simply log on to Facebook on their mobile device, find the info4africa Facebook page and enter any text into a message to the page. The info4africa Chatbot will instantly assist, 24 hours a day. Using the user’s mobile phone’s GPS, the Chatbot will find service providers and provide a list of nearby facilities. The patient can then click on the facility’s telephone number to call, or click on the map link so their mobile phone can navigate them there.

“Our mission as a mobile tech provider is to help place the life-changing information info4africa has in the hands of those that need it most. Through our BrandChat Instant Messaging system we’ve covered USSD, Mobi and WeChat and we are excited to have added a Facebook Messenger Chatbot for them,” said Haarhoff.

“Users tap into information on mobile channels they are comfortable with – our job is to ensure info4africa’s data is there for them when they need it most,” concluded Haarhoff.

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