Facebook Introduces a New Feature to Help Increase Blood Donations

Last week, Facebook held its second annual Social Good Forum and made several exciting announcements that look to make a really positive impact on the blood donor recruitment industry around the world.

On the heels of announcing their changed mission this summer from connecting people to "[giving] the people the power to build community and bring the world closer together," Facebook announced the expansion of their new Blood Donation Sign Up tool, among others.

Blood Donation Sign Up tool

The Blood Donation Sign Up tool was launched on October 1, 2017, National Blood Donor Day, in India. Facebook users in India are now able to sign up to be blood donors through a quick and intuitive process:

  1. Facebook posted a message in each News Feed in India with a request to become a blood donor on Facebook.
  2. The donor must answer two short questions:
    1. What's your blood type?
    2. Have you donated blood before?
  3. Once submitted, the donor is given a few next steps:
    1. Facebook will notify the individual on Facebook when someone needs help
    2. The individual is asked to respond if they are able to donate
    3. The option to 'share now' in order to motivate their friends to become registered blood donors

All information remains private and set to “only me” by default, but Facebook users can choose to share their new donor status on their timelines.

Since October 1st, more than 4 million donors have signed up in India. 

How Blood Centers Are Interacting

The new Blood Donor Sign Up tool allows hospitals, blood banks, and nonprofits to create a special type of post with all the information donors need in order to offer help.  This special post will then notify nearby donors of the opportunity to donate blood. Donors have the ability to reply to the call for donors through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or a phone call in order to schedule an appointment to make their life-saving donation. 

The Facebook Newsroom reports that "when people have better information and tools, they’re more willing to donate blood — and it’s easier for people who need blood to find donors." This new feature has the power change the world of blood donation. 

When's this Feature Coming To The US?

At their Social Good Forum last week, Facebook announced it was expanding its blood donation tool to Bangladesh in early 2018. But what about the United States? It's hard to say.

Back in May of 2012, Facebook launched a similar campaign in the United States that allowed users to share their organ donor status with friends. On that day, 57,451 Facebook users updated their profiles to share their organ donor status, a 21-fold increase in daily donors.

If the success of that campaign and the engagement with the blood donor tool in India (and soon Bangladesh) create any momentum, we hope this tool will be coming to the US sometime soon, fingers crossed! 

How would this blood donor sign up tool impact your blood center?