Facebook to help connect hospitals to blood donors

Facebook is planning to expand its blood donation tool to the U.S., the social network told Business Insider.

Facebook already offers the tool in four countries: Brazil, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The tool, which is similar to Facebook's "ask for recommendations" feature, lets users ask for or donate blood.

In the existing version of the tool, users interact directly with one another to coordinate blood donations. However, in India, the tool has been criticized as helping contribute to the black market for blood.

The social network plans to roll out a similar version of the tool in the U.S. in the coming months. But while Facebook's tool in other countries allows for person-to-person interactions, the U.S. version will only enable blood services providers to request blood.

How the tool will work:

  • Facebook users sign themselves up to be blood donors on the social network
  • When there is a need for blood donations, organizations such as a hospital or the Red Cross will notify all registered users
  • Users can then donate blood or share information with their Facebook friends about blood donation opportunities nearby

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