Organ donors multiply with Facebook's new timeline feature

After the social network's push to boost registered organ donors, the Donate Life California registry has had an 800 percent increase in registrations.

Screenshot of Facebook's new organ donation feature. Facebook

Facebook decided to use its multi-million-member network to make it easier for people to become organ donors and it seems that so far, it's working.

Since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg made the announcement early today that users can add if they are organ donors to their timelines, the Donate Life California registry has had an 800 percent increase in its organ donor registrations.

"As of 12:30pm today, the Donate Life California registry has increased its online donor sign ups by nearly 800 percent from yesterday thanks to this mornings announcement of the partnership with Facebook! Thank you Facebook!" the California registry posted on its Facebook page.

According to a blog post by Zuckerberg and Sandberg, more than 114,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a heart, kidney, or liver transplant, and many millions more are waiting worldwide.

"Many of those people -- an average of 18 people per day -- will die waiting, because there simply aren't enough organ donors to meet the need," Zuckerberg and Sandberg wrote. "Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis. And we believe that by simply telling people that you're an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role."

Facebook has 900 million users and they share billions of stories, updates, and photos everyday. Besides simply being a social network, the site has also been helpful to people in times of crisis over the years, such as during the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and the Joplin tornado in Missouri that same year.

"We never could have anticipated that what started as a small network would evolve into such a powerful tool for communication and problem solving," Zuckerberg and Sandberg wrote. "As this happens, we hope to build tools that help people transform the way we all solve worldwide social problems."

As of now, the organ donation feature is only available to members in the U.S. and U.K. but ZDNet reports that the social network plans to expand to more countries in the near future.

 

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