Facebook is making it easier for people in India, and elsewhere, to donate blood

blood donor facebook
It can’t do much to assuage your fear of needles, but Facebook can help you address a growing need the world over — blood donations. This week, the social network debuted a new initiative that seeks to harness the power of social media for good, specifically by bringing blood donors and those in need of blood together. It’s being unveiled first in India, a nation with a noted shortage of safe blood, in conjunction with an upcoming National Blood Donor Day, which is on Sunday, October 1. Starting on that day, Facebook users in the South Asian country will be able to sign up on Facebook to become a blood donor. And to encourage participation, the social network will show a message in News Feed.

According to a company announcement, Facebook currently sees thousands of requests for blood donors in India every week. ” Our research suggests that when people have better information and tools, they’re more willing to donate blood — and it’s easier for people who need blood to find donors,” the social network added.

While all blood donor information will remain private, users can choose to share their donor status if they opt out of the default “only me” status. Once folks have begun signing up to donate, Facebook says that it will help make it easier for blood banks, hospitals, and the like to contact blood donors. Over the next few weeks, individuals or organizations who need blood will be given the opportunity to create a special post that includes all the relevant information a blood donor may need to determine his or her eligibility.

Anytime these requests are created, Facebook will notify nearby blood donors who can either respond via WhatsApp, Messenger, or a phone call, or spread the word to others. To maintain privacy, Facebook notes that the requester won’t be able to view any information about the donor unless he or she elects to provide it.

“We hope this new feature helps people come together in ways that weren’t possible before,” Facebook concluded. “By raising awareness and growing the number of blood donors in India, we want to make it easier for people and organizations to give and receive blood.”

Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Gaming

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Horde and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Whether you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we have a guide to help you unlock every allied race in Battle for Azeroth.
Movies & TV

The best Black Mirror episodes are disturbing, mesmerizing, and provocative

After watching all 19 episodes across four seasons and one movie, we selected and ranked the best Black Mirror episodes released so far. Read on to find out if your favorite episode from the award-winning Netflix series made the list.
Emerging Tech

Scientists manage to 3D print an actual heart using human cells

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have achieved a world-first by 3D printing a small-scale heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers. Here's why that's so exciting.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.