May 1st, 2012, 19:14 PM
Facebook stretches social boundaries to help organ donors
While Facebook made its fortune on people -- about 800 million users worldwide today -- posting funny pictures of their cats and kids, the social network is also taking advantage of its ability to be helpful to those in need.
Just today, Facebook executives took steps to let the site be used to connect medical patients with organ donors.
CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Tuesday morning that Facebook users in the U.S. and the U.K. can note in their Timelines that they're organ donors. The site will also provide links where Facebook users can sign up with organ donor registries.
"In terms of reach, Facebook is uniquely positioned to champion campaigns like this," said Brad Shimmin, an analyst with CurrentAnalysis.
"As we've seen, Facebook and other social networks can play an extremely important role as a nexus for information and connections after large-scale emergencies such as an earthquake or other natural disasters."
Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, noted that Facebook is perfectly set up to act as a hub for efforts in areas like fostering organ donations.
"It is fundamentally a communications platform which links large groups of people," he said. "Facebook started virally but it has grown into these other more practical uses. Folks are now learning that."