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Instagram’s new tool helps your photos raise money for personal causes

An Instagram photo could be good for more than just a like thanks to a new fundraising tool on the social media platform.

Instagram announced Tuesday that it is rolling out a tool to raise money for users’ personal causes directly on the app. Personal fundraisers will be tested in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland beginning today.

The update brings Facebook’s personal fundraiser program into Instagram by allowing users to create their own campaign on the app or donate to a cause without the help of a third-party platform or an external link. Unlike donation stickers that raise money for nonprofits, the personal fundraising tool allows users to raise money for themselves, a friend, or even a business, provided the fundraiser falls into one of several categories.

Instagram’s approved categories range from helping a struggling business and covering medical or funeral costs to paying for tuition or educational supplies and even funding a hobby or buting sports equipment. The tool follows the same guidelines as Facebook personal fundraisers, including restrictions on fundraisers that sell items in exchange for a donation, fund political campaigns, or violate the platform’s Community Standards. Users must also be 18 or older to create a personal fundraiser.

When donating to a personal fundraiser, the recipient will be able to see their username, the name that appears on their profile, and the amount of the donation, information which may also be public if the donor chooses.

While Facebook dropped fees for fundraising for charity in 2017, the company still collects payment-processing fees and taxes, where applicable, for personal fundraisers. The new Instagram option uses the same fees. Those fees, the company says, are applied to the fees from the payment processor — the company does not earn a profit from personal fundraisers. In the U.S., the fee is 2.6 percent, plus 30 cents from each donation. (Facebook uses Stripe, which typically charges 2.9 percent plus 30 cents, and likely receives a volume discount.)

Personal fundraisers are created directly on a user profile — tap on Edit Profile > Add Fundraiser > Raise Money. Fundraisers need a photo, category, title, goal, and description, as well as a link to a Stripe account to process the payments.

Facebook says that all fundraisers go through a review process to ensure the campaign is for an eligible cause, but didn’t detail what that process entails. Personal fundraisers last 30 days by default, but can be extended.

After the initial test, the company says it expects to expand the feature with tools for sharing the fundraiser in the news feed and Stories.

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