Facebook is making it very easy to ask for money from your friends.
The social network has rolled out a fundraising feature aimed at raising cash for whatever people want. They can be used for personal fundraising – cash for educational, medical or personal emergencies, for instance – as well as now for communities or sports teams.
As such, it looks to take on other popular services like Go Fund Me or Just Giving, both of which aim to be shared on Facebook and generate money from friends. But Facebook’s option is cheaper, taking a much smaller percentage than the former.
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That is because “Facebook’s goal is to create a platform for good that’s sustainable over the long-term, and not to make a profit from our charitable giving tools,” it said in an announcement.
Many fundraising campaigns hosted on those websites tend to go viral on Facebook, and drive a huge number of donations. Only this week, for instance, the Manchester Evening News managed to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for victims of the Manchester attack.
Some version of the feature has already been available to many people, but Facebook says that was only a beta test. Now it is available for everyone in the US over 18, it said, and new categories of fundraising have been added.
Facebook is attempting to keep people safe and stop them being conned by ensuring that all fundraisers go through the site’s policy and guidelines. Once one is approved, it’s available to anyone – users can invite friends to join up, donate and then share the campaign itself on Facebook.
Facebook has introduced a range of different ways of raising and getting money from people. It has launched new ways of paying through Messenger, for instance, apparently in an aim to make it do some of the job of a bank by allowing people to pay back their friends or buy things online.