On Wednesday, Facebook announced its new initiative of connecting people who are seeking blood donors, organizing blood donation groups and ones who are checking local blood banks. Facebook cited ‘shortage of safe blood’ as the reason for putting forth the social media networking as a part of the solution. It looks forward to address the donors and donee aspects of the issue.
The company collaborated with a number of health industry experts, potential donors, and some non-profit organizations to ensure the new features are indeed useful. "We hope this new feature helps people come together in ways that weren't possible before. By raising awareness and growing the number of blood donors in India, we want to make it easier for people and organisations to give and receive blood," said Hema Budaraju, Product Manager, Health, and Ritesh Mehta, Head of Programs, South Asia, in a blog post.
The idea for this feature came out of a hackathon, and Hema Budaraju, one of our product managers, helped make it a reality. This issue is personal to Hema, whose father has diagnosed with cancer five years ago and lost so much blood during chemotherapy that he had to have a transfusion every day for a week. Hema had to reach out to friends and family to ask for donors and many people showed up once they realized it would help her dad. This is a constant reminder for Hema that people are always willing to help, they just need the tools and information to do so.
Facebook will launch this feature on Sunday, October 1 which is the National Blood Donor Day. Users will be able to sign up as blood donors and messages will appear in their news feed for any urgent requirements. The company says by default the information will be kept private but the users will be given an option of displaying the donor status on their profile. However, this feature is available only on Android and mobile web for these are the widely used mediums used in India.
Facebook added, the individuals and organizations looking for blood will be able to create a “special type of post” that would encompass all the required details of the donor. When the post is generated, Facebook will inform the registered donors in the vicinity. Donors can share their SOS post and those who are interested in donating can revert directly, using WhatsApp, Messenger or even a phone call. The feature also ensures that the recipient of blood will not have any information of the donor unless the latter wishes to disclose the same.
Information source: facebook