Facebook has launched a blood donation feature on its U.S. platform to connect its users to donation centers in their neighborhoods and facilitate notifications of blood needs. The new social media tool is already available in India, Pakistan, Brazil, and Bangladesh.
The blood donation information is displayed atop the newsfeed in the “about” section of a user’s Facebook profile. To date, it has enabled 35 million people to register as blood donors.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told CNN, “If there’s a blood shortage in your city, our partners, like the American Red Cross, can notify you and give you an opportunity to donate,” she said. “This is an opportunity for us … to help people contribute to each other in a way that’s really important.”
Facebook has rolled out donor registration in five U.S. cities and will expand nationwide in the coming months. Cliff Numark, senior vice president of the American Red Cross, predicts that “we actually, conceptually, could double the number of blood donors in the United States.”
ASH Clinical News took a deep dive into how clinicians are using social media with a January 2019 cover story, “Welcome to the Digital World.”