Instagram is adding the ability for users to create and donate to fundraisers directly from Instagram Reels, the app's short-form video feature and TikTok rival. The feature was announced alongside a series of updates across Meta's platform and services designed to celebrate Earth Day, including custom stickers for Instagram and Messenger, profile frames for Facebook, conservation-focused experiences for VR and more.
Fundraising on Reels is now available in more than 30 countries worldwide, the company notes, and will support donations to more than 1.5 million nonprofits. Already, some high-profile users -- including Dave Burd (Lil Dicky), Maggie Baird and Zyahna Bryant -- have used the feature to fundraise for environmental causes. While Meta takes a fee on transactions from personal fundraisers, it covers the transaction processing fees for donations to charitable organizations, so they'll receive the full amount of the user's contribution.
The update follows Instagram's rollout of fundraising support for livestreams in 2020, as well as the launch of a personal fundraiser feature that same year. In October, Instagram said it would begin testing a new way for users to create fundraisers for nonprofits by adding an option to start the fundraiser directly from the creation button (the "+" button at the top of the screen). When you tapped this button, you would see the option to add a fundraiser to a Feed post, instead of just a livestream, as before.
The company hadn't yet officially announced fundraising in Reels, although some users had early access to the feature.
Although it's worthwhile to allow online celebs and influencers to tap into their fandom to raise money for good causes, Meta benefits too. Users who become familiar with the fundraiser process could then be inclined to try it again in the future.
The company says that, to date, more than 4 million people have donated over $150 million through Facebook and Instagram fundraisers to combat climate change and support environmental protection. Typically, Instagram users' donations clock in at less than $20, but these small numbers add up. So far, the most popular nonprofits on Instagram, based on the number of donors, for environmental causes include The Ocean Cleanup, World Wildlife Fund and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Meta today also noted that its in-app hub, the Climate Science Center, is now available in 150 countries and has seen over 200 million visits since its September 2020 launch. (Of course, for a network with billions of users, that's not as impressive a figure as it may seem.)
Other updates arriving now include Instagram Earth Day stickers created by illustrator Ping Zhu, Earth Day profile frames for Facebook, a custom sticker pack and 3D Avatar stickers for Earth Day in Messenger, VR experiences from Meta Quest which have an environmental focus and more.
4/19/22, 11 AM ET: Updated to clarify Meta charges processing fees and taxes on personal fundraisers only, but is not currently taking a charging platform fees.