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Facebook's 'life saving' organ donor tool spreads to Asia

Japan and South Korea are the newest members to the social network's organ donor country list, adding a combined 22 million users to potentially sign-up as donors.

Screenshot of Facebook's new organ donation feature, which is being rolled out to several countries worldwide. Facebook

Facebook's recently launched organ donor "life-saving" tool is now expanding to Asia. South Korea and Japan are the newest countries whose residents will be able to register as organ donors and announce their status to the world via the social network.

According to The Next Web, South Korea and Japan have more than 22 million Facebook users combined, which is sure to help with the social network's goal of increasing organ donation. Although Facebook didn't make a formal announcement about the launch of the feature, a company spokesperson confirmed with CNET that it was indeed launched earlier today.

The social network rolled out its organ donation tool in the U.S. and U.K. in May. The goal was to let users include a life story on their profile pages and offer a link urging others to sign up for official organ donation services in their region.

Zuckerberg said his friendship with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died last October of pancreatic cancer, was one of the driving forces in harnessing the social network for spreading awareness.

"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 said at the time.

The day of the U.S. launch, the Donate Life California registry showed an 800 percent increase in registrations. The registry said that the tremendous increase was because of its partnership with Facebook. Similar numbers were seen in the U.K.

With the addition of South Korea and Japan, 13 countries now have the organ donor tool on Facebook. As users post that they're donors, a link to a country-specific donor sign-up page is also listed to boost more registrations. According to The Next Web, Facebook is working to add more countries to its organ donor roster.