Instagram is adding more live video features.


Angela Lang/CNET

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Facebook-owned Instagram is adding a way for users to create and donate to fundraisers during live videos as more people turn to these real-time broadcasts while they’re staying at home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Instagram will let users create a fundraiser during a live video.


Instagram

The release of the new feature shows how Facebook continues to double down on video across the apps it owns as usage of this type of content surges during a pandemic. In the past month, Instagram has seen a 70% increase in the number of people using live video including to fundraise for nonprofits combatting COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. 

To create a live fundraiser, you tap the camera in the top left of your Instagram feed or swipe right on your feed. After you tap live at the bottom of the screen, you can select fundraiser and choose the nonprofit you want to support. During the live video, you’ll be able to see how many people are supporting your fundraiser and the amount of money raised in real time by tapping “View.” To thank people who donate, you can tap “Wave.”

Instagram said Tuesday all donations will go directly to the nonprofits.

While the new tool offers another way to fundraise, some users might be wary about giving out their credit card information on Instagram because of the privacy scandals that its parent company has faced. Facebook has a privacy policy for payments that states it won’t share your personal information with anyone for marketing purposes without your consent and only uses the financial data to help you make payments on Facebook and the apps it owns.

Outside of using live video, Instagram also lets you donate through Stories where people post content that vanishes in 24 hours. Nonprofits can add a donate sticker to their ephemeral posts. Those who donate through live video stories will have access to a “I Donated” sticker for a period of time, Instagram said.

Live video fundraisers aren’t the only video tool that Facebook has released amid the coronavirus outbreak. Last week, Facebook said it was releasing a feature called Messenger Rooms so users can video chat with up to 50 people through its messaging service Messenger, taking on competitors such as Zoom and Houseparty. The social media giant plans to add the group video calling feature, called Rooms, to Instagram direct messaging.


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