Facebook Wants to Ease the Process of Blood Donation in India

India's National Voluntary Blood Donation Day is Oct. 1

Facebook users in India may see messages atop their News Feeds Facebook

Facebook wants to get the blood flowing in India—in a good way.

The social network rolled out tools to enable users in India to begin signing up to be blood donors on that country’s National Voluntary Blood Donation Day, Oct. 1. Users in India will see messages atop their News Feeds, or they will be able to edit their profiles to sign up, with all information remaining private.

Product manager, health Hema Budaraju and head of programs, South Asia Ritesh Mehta said in a Newsroom post that this feature will initially launch on Android and the mobile web, as those are the most widely used platforms in India.

Facebook will also release a tool in the next few weeks enabling those in need of blood—individuals or organizations such as blood banks and hospitals—to create special posts alerting users in the country to those needs.

Those posts will contain the locations where blood donations are needed, contact information and optional information such as required blood type and background stories.

Budaraju and Mehta wrote, “When a request is created, Facebook will automatically notify blood donors who may be nearby to help spread the word. Donors can then review the request and, if they wish to respond, contact the requestor directly through WhatsApp, Messenger or a phone call. The person who needs blood won’t be able to see any information about the donor unless the donor explicitly provides it when he/she reaches out to the person in need of blood.”

Finally, Indian users who are interested in donating blood can go to facebook.com/donateblood.

Budaraju and Mehta wrote, “India, like many countries, has a shortage of safe blood. There aren’t enough people donating blood to meet the demand of people who need it. In some cases, this shortage leads to patients and their family being responsible for finding donors to replace blood in the blood banks or hospitals. This can cause high-stress situations as people try to find blood donors on their own—including by reaching out to their network on Facebook. We think we can help by finding ways to more efficiently bring blood donors and people in need together.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.