For many people, social media platforms like Instagram have been key in tackling boredom induced by coronavirus stay-at-home orders. But now these apps are helping in more ways than one by becoming channels to support those who have become physically, financially, and mentally vulnerable due to the coronavirus pandemic. Through the revamping of Instagram's Donations Sticker, the app is helping users fundraise for their favorite charities and nonprofit organizations with their followers.
On April 28, Instagram announced that it would be bringing its Donations Sticker functionality to Instagram Live. The sticker was originally released in April 2019 as a way to allow users to mobilize their communities around causes they cared about by encouraging others to donate to their favorite nonprofits. Now, in addition to adding it to stories, people can use this Donations Sticker in their Instagram Live to reach their followers in real time about nonprofit organizations they care about. And rather than having to copy and paste a link or go to a separate site, users can donate to their charities within the Live, without even leaving the screen.
TikTok released a similar feature on April 27, which allows app users to post donation stickers to videos and Livestreams for coronavirus relief efforts as well. TikTok's version of the sticker provides a list of organizations that users can choose to create fundraisers for.
Instagram's head of product Vishal Shah tells Bustle that hosting fundraisers on Instagram Live allows people to reach their followers in a more interactive way than just their Stories. Along with this, being able to speak to their followers almost directly gives them the opportunity to really explain why they care about a given nonprofit and why others should donate as well. He says that Instagram Live is a powerful place especially because it provides real-time engagement with the people who are watching. "If you think of the kind of creator or public figure use cases on Instagram where people who have large followings, large distribution really get to to tell their story about why they care about a given nonprofit, that's already been happening in Stories," he says. "And we think Live is a particularly powerful place because it [provides] this real time engagement with people who are watching."
This engagement has only been increasing while people remain at home. Just since last month, Instagram Lives have seen a 70% increase in the overall amount of people watching, according to Shah. And with users having the ability to use the sticker on Instagram Live, as well as join other people's Live streams, there is the opportunity to become even more connected in COVID-19 relief efforts.
While anyone with an Instagram account can set up a Donations Sticker in their Live and help fundraise for a nonprofit, many public figures and celebrities will take advantage of these new tools, including musician Tori Kelly for Feeding America, Muslim publication Muslim Girl for the CDC Foundation, actor and TV personality Lisa Rinna for No Kid Hungry, and actress Sofia Carson and athletes Sergio Ramos and Fabio Cannavaro all for UNICEF.
This update joins a new "I Donated" Story, modeled after Instagram's release of the Stay Home sticker in March. The sticker was created as a way to help users support one another in their efforts to stay safe and practice social distancing guidelines by staying home. Since its release, Shah says the sticker has been used more than 300 million times, demonstrating how eager the Instagram community is to not only staying healthy but stick together in doing so. The "I Donated" sticker is meant to play a similar role.
How To Use The Donations Sticker In IG Live
If you want to add a Donations Sticker to your own Instagram Live, first begin your Live session by swiping right in your feed or tapping the camera icon in the top left of your screen. When you do this, you should be able to select nonprofit you want to fundraise for right at the bottom of your screen. You'll be shown a list of nonprofits by default that are supporting COVID-19 relief efforts and also be able to see which of your friends are following these organizations on Instagram. If none of the nonprofits shown are ones you want to use, you can always use the search bar at the top of the screen to look for one you really care about. This could be virtually any official organization, as long as it was registered with Facebook's Charitable Giving Tools, which includes more than 1 million nonprofits. Once you've found one you want to support, all you have to do is tap it to select.
When you begin your Instagram Live broadcast, you'll get to see how many people are supporting your fundraiser and just how much money has been raised for it.
How To Use The "I Donated" Sticker
Once someone has donated to an Instagram fundraiser, an "I Donated" sticker automatically unlocks in their Stories. Users can then use this sticker on as many Stories as they'd like and it'll be aggregated to a shared Story that other people can also view. When others tap the sticker, they'll get a small description of what the "I Donated" sticker means, and they'll also be able to see a total amount of funds that were donated for that cause while the Story was active. This provides a great way for people to not only support important causes, but also stay connected with people they care about.
"It's been a crazy time, but people are using Instagram and utilizing the platform to connect to the people that they care about even when they can't be physically together," Shah says.