Instagram on Tuesday announced a new fund-raising tool built directly into its short-form video feature Reels. “Fundraising” was the most notable update amidst the series of new features parent-company Meta launched for Earth Day, such as profile frames, custom stickers, and environmental-focused virtual reality (VR) experiences across its various platforms.
“We know that people are worried about climate change and want to take action, but feel that the problem is too big and they’re not sure how to help. Check out some ways you can get started across our technologies,” says Meta.
Effective immediately, Fundraising on Reels is available in over 30 countries across the globe, and has already attracted high-profile users like Dave Burd (Lil Dicky), Maggie Baird, and Zyahna Bryant.
Transactions from personal fundraisers will require Meta to take a fee, but according to its recent statement, the company won’t take a fee on transactions for donations to charitable organizations.
Users can add fundraiser details when creating their Reels. Fundraiser links will remain active for up to 30 days, and the tech-giant says it will support donations to over 1.5 million nonprofits.
This is not the first fundraising feature Instagram has created for its platform. In 2020, it introduced personal fundraisers, while also making it possible for users to fundraise directly in Instagram Live. This past October, it began testing the potential for users to easily create and share nonprofit fundraisers from their feeds.
Meta says that over 4 million people have donated over $150 million via Facebook and Instagram climate and environmental-focused fundraisers, including The Ocean Cleanup, World Wildlife Fund, and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
The Climate Science Center –– Meta’s in-app climate awareness hub –– was also mentioned in the announcement, as it is now available in 150 countries and has received over 200 million visits since its launch in September 2020.
With Pinterest’s recent claims to ban all climate misinformation from its platform, Meta’s Climate Science Center’s effectiveness amidst a history of criticism by activist and watchdog groups.
Most notably, when climate advocacy group Stop Funding Heat found that climate misinformation groups on Facebook had increased by 77% since the Center’s introduction, with Meta having fact-checked less than 4% of the 1 million pieces of harmful climate content surfacing on the platform every day.
TikTok continues to attract a larger and younger audience, with a quarter of its user base between the ages of 10 and 19 years old, compared to 8.5% of Instagram’s users between 13 and 17. With Gen Z focused on social and environmental causes, fundraising tools are likely a strategy for Instagram to attract younger users and compete with TikTok, as they did with the launch of Reels.