Facebook seems to be on something of a mission at present to copy all the best features from popular apps and services out there. Just a couple of days after it added Snapchat-style ephemeral stories, it has announced that it has created a GoFundMe type personal fundraising feature.

Personal fundraisers allow people to raise money for themselves, a friend or someone or something not on Facebook, for example a pet. Personal fundraisers will launch in the US for people aged 18 years or older, and in beta over the next few weeks, as we hope to continue to learn and improve the product to make it even more useful. For example, we will begin with six specific categories for critical financial needs and include a 24-hour fundraiser review process. As we learn more, we hope to expand our categories and automate more of the review process.

Although Facebook describes the six permitted categories as ‘specific,’ they seem to cover most potential needs between them …

  • Education: such as tuition, books or classroom supplies
  • Medical: such as medical procedures, treatments or injuries
  • Pet Medical: such as veterinary procedures, treatments or injuries
  • Crisis Relief: such as public crises or natural disasters
  • Personal Emergency: such as a house fire, theft or car accident
  • Funeral and Loss: such as burial expenses or living costs after losing a loved one

Friends can donate without leaving Facebook. The company says that the ability to see profiles will provide donors with confidence that they are supporting a legitimate need.

Since you can see real profiles on Facebook, donors will see how they are connected to the person who created the fundraiser, the person benefiting and others who are supporting the fundraiser.

Facebook has allowed registered charities to seek donations on Facebook since last year, and from today allows them to add a Donate button to live broadcasts.

As usual with Facebook updates, U.S. users can expect to see the new features roll out in a silent update to the app over the next few days.

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