Facebook has announced a new set of features designed to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including a gift card registry. A prompt to buy digital gift cards will now appear on businesses' News Feeds in select regions. Some users in the U.S. will begin seeing it today, with a broader rollout throughout the nation planned for the following weeks.
Another feature will allow businesses to create fundraisers through their pages. Together, these measures provide customers with opportunities to support small businesses, even if they may be closed because of lockdown policies.
To sign up for the gift card registry, head here.
More about Facebook's grants — While announcing the new features, Facebook also took the opportunity to provide more details about its $100 million grant program for small businesses. Together with Ureeka, a small business support platform, Facebook will award $40 million in grants to 10,000 businesses in 34 areas where its employees are located. Eligible businesses can apply for a grant here. The remaining $60 million will be awarded in the second phase of the program, details of which are to be announced later.
Other changes — Facebook has updated its page options so businesses can list any changes caused by the coronavirus. They'll enable pages to say if they're open with service changes or temporarily closed. More specifically, businesses can say if they're offering service online or through pickups and delivery.
Earlier this week, Facebook announced it would put $100 million toward supporting journalism with a $75 million ad buy and $25 million in grants.
Other features added in recent weeks include the COVID-19 information center on the news feed and in Messenger, an expansion of the Community Health section to provide local aid, and a desktop version of the Messenger app.