Facebook today announced an update coming to its iOS and Android mobile apps, as well as its main website, that is aimed to make birthdays more "meaningful" for users based in the United States.
Two weeks ahead of your birthday, Facebook said it will now send you a message in your News Feed with the option of creating a fundraiser. If you opt-in, you can choose from any of the 750,000 U.S. nonprofit organizations on Facebook and set a funding goal. Then on your actual birthday, all of your friends will get the usual notification to send you a happy birthday message, which will also include a prompt to donate to your organization of choice.
Facebook said the update is a way to streamline a popular birthday tradition, which sees people dedicating the day to a specific cause instead of asking for gifts of their own.
People often dedicate their birthday to support a cause, and we’ve seen people using Facebook to raise money for causes they care about. For those in the US, we’re now making it easier to do this by giving you the opportunity to create a fundraiser for your birthday directly on Facebook.
Birthdays have always been a part of Facebook, and we hope to continue providing you with a variety of experiences that make celebrating on the platform fun and meaningful for you and your friends.
The company has supported user-generated fundraisers in the past, earlier this year allowing each Facebook user to create fundraisers for six specific categories: education, medical, pet medical, crisis relief, personal emergency, and funeral and loss. With those fundraisers, and presumably the new birthday-focused fundraisers, users were able to make a donation to the cause directly within the Facebook app.
The birthday announcement also included a new celebratory video that will appear whenever a birthday of a close friend is coming up. Similar to the social network's previous anniversary videos, it combines pictures and status updates that include both you and your friend.
Yesterday, Facebook announced a few design changes also coming to its mobile apps, including circular profile pictures, easier to tap buttons, revamped comment sections, and more. The company said that the changes should make the Facebook app "more conversational and easier to read and navigate."