Facebook launches donation feature to help social media users tackle Ebola head-on

Facebook has stepped up its campaign against the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa implementing a dialogue box allowing users to donate directly from their homepage.

The feature will allow social media users to donate to charities currently combating the disease. Additionally, it has invested in Western Africa's communication network to help provide infomation regarding Ebola directly to mobile users in affected areas.

From today, a donation prompt will appear at the top of the Facebook newsfeed.

As a result of the scheme, donations can be made to the International Medical Corps, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children charities.

Furthermore, Facebook will collaborate with Unicef to help users identify the symptoms of Ebola.

The site will also work with Nethope to boost communications capacity in the region with the donation of 100 mobile satellite terminals to medical and aid workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The features were unveiled in a blog post written jointly by Naomi Gleit, vice president of product management at Facebook and Chris Daniels, vice president of Internet.org.

The pair stated: “We want to amplify these calls for action and help organisations raise awareness and connect directly with people around the world.

“Over the next week, people on Facebook will see a message at the top of News Feed with an option to donate to three different nonprofits doing important work on the ground in West Africa.”

Adding: “To do this, we are using our donate feature, where people can donate directly to one of these organisations. If they want to, they can also choose to share that they donated on Facebook.”

Last month the BBC World Service introduced an Ebola information system to mobile users through the Whatsapp messenger service.

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