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Over 4 mn Indians join Facebook's blood donation feature


New York, Nov 30 (IANS): More than four million donors in India have signed up for Facebook's blood donation feature and the company will now expand this feature to Bangladesh, the social media giant has said.

In October, Facebook launched a new blood donations feature, starting in India, to make it easier for people to donate blood.

"There are now more than four million blood donors signed up on Facebook in India.

"In addition to enabling people in need to connect to blood donors, our tools also allow organisations to connect to donors more efficiently," Naomi Gleit, Vice President, Social Good, said in a blog post late on Wednesday.

Hospitals, blood banks and non-profits can create voluntary blood donation events on Facebook, and nearby donors are notified of the opportunities to donate blood.

"In early 2018, we will expand blood donations to Bangladesh, where, like India, there are thousands of posts from people looking for blood donors every week," Gleit noted.

Facebook also announced new tools and initiatives to help people keep each other safe and supported on its platform.

At the second annual Social Good Forum in New York late on Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is introducing a new mentorship connection programme, new fundraising tools, blood donation initiative and the suicide prevention programme.

"Mentorship and Support is a new product where mentees and mentors come together to connect and interact directly with each other and progress through a guided programme developed by nonprofit organisations," Gleit posted.

All donations made through Facebook payments to nonprofits will now go directly to those organisations.

"Facebook Donations Fund" is a $50 million annual fund for 2018 to help communities recover from disaster by direct contribution.

"People will now be able to sync their off-Facebook fundraising efforts to Facebook fundraisers, making it easier to tell friends and family about the causes they support on and off Facebook," the company said.

When people connect their off-Facebook fundraising campaign with Facebook, it creates a Facebook fundraiser that syncs with their campaign page.

Facebook also introduced a Community Help API, which will give disaster response organisations access to data from public "Community Help" posts that can offer important information about the needs of people affected by a particular crisis.

"We are piloting the Community Help API with NetHope and the American Red Cross," Facebook said.

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