Social media giant Facebook is back again with another striking feature called “Drives.” It’s not the cloud storage service type of drive; it’s in the sense of “food drive,” “clothing drive,” etc.
Today, the platform has introduced a US-only feature to enable the users to collect as well as donate items like food, clothes, and other essentials for the people in need. Users will be able to access this new feature by visiting the existing Community Help hub.
Facebook had introduced the Community Help hub back in 2017 to allow the users to centralize their resources after a catastrophe, whether human-made, accidental or natural disasters such as extreme weather events or terrorist attacks. However, this year, the Community Help feature has been utilized at a broader scale as a part of the social network’s Covid-19 efforts, where the platform aimed at helping those affected the most by the outbreak of this pandemic.
Given how long-lasting this pandemic has turned out to be, it has triggered an economic crisis all over the world, especially in the U.S., where millions of people are jobless now, and millions might no longer have their unemployment benefits by the end of this year as soon as the CARES Act provisions expire. Moreover, the uncertainty continues to be in the air – food insecurity and insufficient funds to pay bills such as house rent and mortgage payments, along with the inability to manage other household expenses, are also affecting millions of people.
However, with the launch of Facebook Drives, users can create and share their efforts to gather essentials for the needy people, such as a food or clothing drive working to collect goods and other necessities for local shelters, or any event where people are looking to gather items to help the people in need.
To create a ‘Drive,’ just type “Community Help” in Facebook’s search bar, hit ‘enter,’ then click on “Request or Offer Help,” and then tap “Create Drive.” A form will appear on your screen. All you need to do is fill it out and set a goal for the total number of items you want to collect through your drive. Doing so will allow other people to view how many items are still left to collect with the help of this goal tracker once you publish your Facebook Drive. Once you create it, besides appearing in the Community Help hub, your drive will also show up in your Timeline and News Feed just like any other regular post.
As per the company’s announcement, this feature has started rolling out today; however, they had also mentioned that it might still not be broadly available to all users for a few coming weeks. Well, this is definitely unfortunate, considering a lot of people most probably would have wanted to run holiday-related Facebook Drives as the holiday season is approaching to collect food, clothes, or toys for holiday meals and gifts for families in need. However, Facebook also said that it would accelerate the feature to make sure it reaches just in time for the holidays.
The company also mentions that they review all the Community Help hub posts, including Drives now, to make sure they don’t contravene Facebook’s Community Standards or Community Help Product Policies. These guidelines forbid insensitive and promotional content, spam, counterfeit posts, and posts from users under the age of 18, etc. If any post is seen violating these policies, the platform takes it down immediately.
Meanwhile, as a bonus, Facebook’s Instagram will also be getting new fundraising tools soon. As of now, Instagram users can raise funds using Stickers on their Stories or via Live streaming, but as the fundraising features roll out, users will be able to share fundraiser posts on their feed too. However, no exact time frame is known yet as to when Facebook will roll out these features for Instagram.
“Drives” is one of the many features that the social network has rolled out as a part of its Covid-19 efforts. Social media platforms have become an indispensable part of our lives today, and it sure is an incredible way to spread the word. While it is a hotspot for spreading misinformation, using it for a noble cause is exactly what we needed.
With the launch of Facebook’s Drives, we are sure a lot of people will be able to receive the much-needed help in the wake of this crisis. Let’s see how this turns out once the feature is officially available to all.