Aldo Agostinelli

The year end is, for everybody, Facebook included, a time to take stock. Instead of listing figures concerning contacts and digital subscribers, which can be used to make an impression  inside press releases in any season, this time the social platform chose to assess its own ability to put together people all over the world to support one another.In other words, they decided to show their socialside, in the deepest sense of such word. Read it in Italian.

From a post by Naomi Gleit, Facebook VP Social Good, we found out that the International women’s day was the most discussed moment of the year on the platform, and that, at the end of August, the devastating consequences of hurricane Harvey mobilized the whole community to act in favor of the poorest by collecting over 20 million dollars, and that on the 1 of October 2017, the  Las Vegas massacre  pushed 3.300 people to offer their help to their community through the emergency tools set up by Facebook to face that crisis.

And if such data relate to the past only, the shadow of the “good actions” performed by the platform seems to be bound to project onto 2018 since Zuckerberg has decided to bid on charity.

During the latest Good Social Forum, Facebook announced the launch of new tools and initiatives to help people in doing some good. First of all, the social platform presented the creation of a fund worth over 50 million dollars, to be collected through direct donations, designed to help communities hit by natural disasters. Furthermore, starting from next year, non-profit associations will not be asked to pay any fees and 100% of donations made through the platform will be devoted directly to groups (Facebook wants to be seen as a force for good)

But that is not all:  Nonprofit fundraising tools, i.e. tools created for charity donations, including the donation buttons, which allow people to collect money for non-profit organizations, are now available also in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Finland and Luxemburg.

Personal funds, instead,  in other words, those allowing users to collect money for themselves or in favor of someone or something outside the platform, have been extended to further 16 countries, Italy included.

Users will also be able to synchronize their off-Facebook fundraising campaigns  with the ones inside Facebook, creating a link between a page inside the platform and a website, to increase the strength of the charity message and to update donors on the results achieved on both sides.

By next spring, then, the platform will present over 500 non-profit organizations (Facebook Social Good Forum: Announcing New Tools and Initiatives for Communities to Help Each Other).

This is all really commendable but, playing the role of the devil’s advocate, I cannot help wondering whether by focusing on charity, Facebook will not end up stealing relevant market shares from Generosity by Indiegogo or Razoo or, as an alternative, absorbing them? Only time will tell.

Have you ever made an online donation? What do you think of the new charity tools created by Facebook? Tweet @agostinellialdo.

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Aldo Agostinelli