Since the murder of George Floyd and the global spread of the coronavirus, social media users have been using different platforms to promote social activism, education and awareness. Instagram, especially Instagram Stories, has been a particularly popular space for users to share important information with their followers. A new addition to Instagram, however, will allow users to more easily share fundraising resources with their followers.
According to CNET, over three billion dollars have been raised for a host of causes and organizations using Facebook and Instagram since 2015. With Instagram’s latest addition, creating and accessing fundraisers has become much easier. Users were previously able to share fundraisers through their Instagram Stories, but they would then vanish after 24 hours. Users also had the option of putting the link to a fundraiser in their bio, but these links did not have as much visibility and would be seen much less frequently.
Now, the new fundraising tool works similarly to Instagram’s advertising tools. A user can create a fundraiser that will run for 30 days, with an option to extend the length for 30 more days. Users must be at least 18 years old to create a fundraiser, and each fundraiser has to be reviewed and approved before it can begin. To create the fundraiser, users have to go to their profile and tap “Edit Profile.” From there, they can select “Add Fundraiser” and then “Raise Money.” Users can choose a photo and add other details to their fundraiser before making it public.
While many social media platforms coming under fire in recent years for having negative effects on the mental health of their users and for facilitating the spread of “fake news,” Instagram’s newest feature could provide a bright spot. The photo sharing platform took its first step toward increasing its donating options in April after adding a Live Donations feature that allows users to donate to nonprofit organizations in real time during an Instagram Live stream. While this new tool is still in testing and is not available to everyone yet, Instagram is showing its commitment to offering resources in which users can support nonprofit organizations.