You must have already noticed that Facebook is actively penetrating different Internet fields, from advertising to charity services. It is not just a social network anymore.
Today Facebook released a trial version of its Fundraiser product targeted at non-profit projects. To raise funds, nonprofits just need to create a campaign page, containing an explanatory video, and wait for numerous reposts made by their Facebook friends, who can donate straight without leaving their Facebook experience. Launched as a fundraising service for nonprofits, Fundraiser may soon become open for companies in search of profits, and thus very likely grow up to a strong competitor for Kickstarter.
Social networks possess enormous influence power today. They even become certain ‘guides’ for 25% of projects initially placed on such platforms as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, since not all Internet users visit these websites on purpose. Promotion on Facebook is not a new thing. But often people do not want to stop their Facebook chat, click on the project link, go to another website and upload the payment there. Too much fuss. And Facebook knows how precious each click is and appreciates its users’ time and efforts. That is why crowdfunding campaigns on Facebook may have a lot more advantages: discovery, payment and virality all built in one place. For now Fundraiser feature allows “Join” the project а page without the need to donate at once: you can just receive the project’s updates, share posts. This way Facebook provides much better opportunities for campaign leaders to stay in touch with their donating audience and again makes promotion more effective.
The initial Facebook mission is to connect people. At the same time, crowdfunding itself pulls crowds together too. So it doesn’t matter whether participants know each other or live in the same country, as long as they follow the same goal. It is quite obvious that crowdfunding feature could be easily applied on Facebook. Moreover, there would be some benefits for the social network users apart from perfect Facebook experience. Contributing to crowdfunding would make users upload their payment info on Facebook, which can be also used in other Facebook products, like Facebook Charity Navigator without the need to fill it in every time. As for campaign organizers, lots of advertisement and promotion opportunities provided on Facebook would be definitely very helpful.
We will see what Facebook will do next. But whatever they decide, because of its huge space, Facebook can experiment with any feature or application and then just forget about it if it fails. Still, the crowdfunding feature has a very promising start. So, Kickstarter, watch out!
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