Tech

TikTok and Instagram roll out live fundraiser tools for COVID-19 aid

Small businesses, in particular, could benefit from the move.

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You're probably inundated with notifications about your friends on Instagram going live these days. It's a phenomenon inadvertently brought on by COVID-19 and subsequent quarantining efforts. Now, non-profits will be able to join the crowd and run live fundraisers while companies increase focus on coronavirus relief initiatives. It's one of the many ways big tech is helping people out during the pandemic.

The Instagram feature was revealed last week and is part of Facebook's broader COVID-19 relief digital efforts, Engadget notes (and a hint at a possible in-app tipping feature). Not one to be left behind, TikTok is also introducing a similar monetary feature for its own crowd with the distinction that its functionality is centered entirely on sending COVID-19 financial help.

Donation stickers — On TikTok, the feature will be visible through donation stickers. "When a user clicks the Donation Sticker, they’ll be guided to a window where they can quickly and easily submit a donation without having to leave the app," the company announced. "Donation Stickers are enabled in-app by Tiltify, a well-established fundraising platform which will process and manage user donations securely. Only users 18+ are able to donate."

Interactive fundraising — With the help of Instagram and TikTok, users will have the chance to make their fundraising efforts a lot more interactive and set in real time. They can engage with viewers through the networks' comment feature, field questions, and spread the word across and beyond the platforms. It's a lot more dynamic than, say, a call for donations through a text post.

Of course, there are several aspects to both companies' push for live streaming fundraisers. For one, sure, it helps struggling non-profits keep afloat — but another potential result of this feature is that both TikTok and Instagram could end up with even more users on their networks. So, it isn't entirely a selfless and philanthropic introduction. But it certainly helps during strange times like these. No point in being picky.