To bolster COVID-19 relief, Instagram and TikTok launch live fundraising features

Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10
Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram and TikTok are launching live fundraising features on their respective platforms, aimed at supporting nonprofits.
  • TikTok is specifically aimed at COVID-19 relief, partnering with charities in the U.S. and UK as part of that.
  • TikTok will match all donations through May 27 at launch.

It's going to be a little easier for nonprofits to raise money via social media. Today, Instagram (via Engagdet) has launched "live fundraisers", aimed at helping people solicit fundraisers for select nonprofits while hosting streams on Instagram Live. Donators will get a few perks including an "I donated" sticker.

At the moment, Instagram is limiting these to registered nonprofits, but the company may allow other businesses and individuals to tap into this feature set in the future.

ByteDance's TikTok will do the same as well, albeit with its own fundraising functionality being laser-focused on COVID-19 relief efforts.

"Donation Stickers are clickable donation buttons that can be embedded directly in videos and TikTok LIVEs, just like other stickers on the platform," TikTok announced, "Donation Stickers are enabled in-app by Tiltify, a well-established fundraising platform which will process and manage user donations securely."

In the U.S., the firm has partnered with CDC Foundation, the James Beard Foundation, Meals on Wheels, MusiCares, National PTA, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, No Kid Hungry, and The Actors Fund. In the UK, TikTok is working with the British Red Cross and Help Musicians. All donations will be matched through May 27 on both sides of the pond.

As the pandemic spreads, big tech is making efforts to help businesses and individuals caught in its wake. Instagram is reaching out to small businesses and restaurants, helping them keep afloat. Google is helping students stay working in concert with some state governments, reaching out to them and providing hardware, connectivity, and so on. Even Facebook is proving to be helpful, helping researchers and governments predict infection peaks and identify are stringent containment and mitigation measures can be eased.

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Michael Allison