TikTok launches in-app donations feature

The video-sharing platform has provided clickable buttons that can be embedded in videos and live streams, encouraging viewers to give

(Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The social media video platform TikTok has launched a new in-app donations feature that allows users to raise funds for the charities and causes they care about.

Donation Stickers, launched yesterday, are clickable buttons that can be embedded in videos and live streams on the app, encouraging viewers to give.

The feature will initially allow users to raise funds for the British Red Cross, the hardship fund Help Musicians UK and “select charities across the world”, TikTok said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the company said it had chosen to partner initially with organisations that support vulnerable groups affected by the health and economic damage caused by the pandemic.

She said TikTok was hoping to enable more charities access to Donation Stickers “in the near future”.

TikTok has pledged to match fund all donations made until 27 May.

When a user over the age of 18 clicks on a donation button, they’ll be guided to a window where they can make a donation without having to leave the app.

The feature will use Tiltify, an online donation platform commonly used in online video game streams.

Rich Waterworth, UK general manager at TikTok, said: “In times of crisis, charities play an even greater role in protecting our most vulnerable communities.”

Earlier this month the company gave a £5m donation to the Royal College of Nursing’s Covid-19 response fund.

Waterworth said the company now wanted “to help more charities gain access to the funding they need to support people both now and beyond the coronavirus epidemic”.

He said: “Our community on TikTok surprises us every day with their creative, uplifting spirit through this crisis, and we hope they’ll join us in helping those in need.

“We chose the British Red Cross and Help Musicians as our initial launch beneficiaries as charities on the front line of the coronavirus response, where we know this funding will deliver meaningful support for communities that have been hugely affected by this crisis.”

Paul Amadi, chief supporter officer at the British Red Cross, said the charity was excited to be one of the first charities to benefit from Donation Stickers, which he said would help it to raise vital funds to continue supporting the most vulnerable people during the crisis.

“From handwashing dance moves to showcasing our people working on the front line, the British Red Cross has been using the TikTok platform to lift the nation’s spirits and share vital information about the virus,” he said.

James Ainscough, chief executive of Help Musicians, said the need the charity had seen was “almost overwhelming”.

He added: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a monumental effect on musicians’ ability to earn a living. The vast majority of musicians are self-employed and in a recent survey we found that 25 per cent said they would not be eligible for self-employed support.

“It is through fundraising such as this that we can offer vital long-term support in order to make a meaningful difference to musicians when they need us most.”

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