Facebook today announced that it will begin allowing its users to generate their own crowdfunding campaigns directly within the social network's mobile app, meant as a way "to raise money for themselves, a friend, or someone or something not on Facebook, for example a pet." Any user 18 or older will be able to set up a personal fundraiser, which Facebook hopes will be a way for people to more easily reach potential project backers like close friends and family members.
The catch is that fundraisers will be locked into six specific categories: education, medical, pet medical, crisis relief, personal emergency, and funeral and loss. Every fundraiser will also face a 24-hour review process by Facebook to ensure that the project's creator and its goals are legitimate. The company broke down the six categories in today's press release:
- Education: such as tuition, books or classroom supplies
- Medical: such as medical procedures, treatments or injuries
- Pet Medical: such as veterinary procedures, treatments or injuries
- Crisis Relief: such as public crises or natural disasters
- Personal Emergency: such as a house fire, theft or car accident
- Funeral and Loss: such as burial expenses or living costs after losing a loved one
On the donator side of things, friends and family will be able to support a user's fundraiser in a few taps and without leaving the Facebook app. The company said that all payments are secure and that donators will have more peace of mind thanks to Facebook's use of real profile information for the person raising the funds, and the person or cause the money will go to.
Personal fundraisers allow people to reach friends where they already are to quickly build momentum for their cause. Friends can donate in a few taps with secure payments, without leaving Facebook. Since you can see real profiles on Facebook, donors will see how they are connected to the person who created the fundraiser, the person benefiting and others who are supporting the fundraiser.
The update is also bringing donate buttons to Facebook Live streams of verified pages, which the company said will give "public figures, brands, businesses and organizations new ways to fundraise on Facebook for the nonprofits they support." With a simple tap, watchers of live streams can donate to a specified cause that the page is supporting.
Facebook said that personal fundraisers will be entering a beta over the next few weeks, and should face a wider launch sometime after that.