Instagram, a photo sharing app owned by Facebook, said Tuesday that it’s releasing a new way for users to fundraise for personal causes.
The social network said users in the US, UK and Ireland will be able to create personal fundraisers through Instagram as part of an initial test. Users can create a fundraiser by tapping “Edit Profile,” “Add Fundraiser” and “Raise Money.” They’ll be able to add a photo, select a fundraiser category and add information to their fundraiser.
Users have to be at least 18 years old to create a fundraiser, which runs for 30 days. The length of the fundraiser can also be extended. Instagram says users will be able to fundraise for community projects, medical expenses, funeral costs and other personal causes. Instagram will review and approve the fundraisers before users are able to start raising money.
The release of the new feature shows how Instagram is responding to the increase in social activism in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in Minneapolis. People have been turning to social media to fundraise for different causes including social justice organizations and groups helping to combat the novel coronavirus. Instagram said that donations on the photo service doubled in the last 30 days and posts that mentioned donation increased by more than 200%. Since January, Facebook and Instagram users have raised more than $65 million for fundraisers related to COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
Instagram already has other ways users can raise money. The photo app allows users to donate to causes they care about through Stories, where people post content that vanishes in 24 hours. Nonprofits can add a donate sticker to their ephemeral posts. In April, the company added a way for users to create and donate to fundraisers during live videos.
Since 2015, 45 million people have raised more than $3 billion on Facebook and Instagram for various causes.
Only nonprofits in certain countries such as the US, UK, France, Spain and Portugal can use fundraising and donation tools on Instagram. The company said that users who live in a country where they’re able to donate through a donation sticker will also be able to contribute to a personal fundraiser.
Users who wish to donate have to enter their payment information on Instagram. Stripe is processing the payments for the fundraisers.
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