- Snapchat introduced an augmented reality (AR) feature that lets users of the photo-messaging app donate money to COVID-19 relief efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO). The features uses Snapchat's image-recognition technology to identify 23 currencies from 33 countries, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- To donate money to WHO's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, Snapchat is asking users to scan currency notes, such as a dollar bill, with the app's camera. That will open computer-generated images of how their donations will help in the effort to quell the pandemic. Tapping on a "Donate to Support" button opens a page to enter payment information.
- News publishers covering the COVID-19 pandemic in Snapchat's Discover section also can provide a way to let Snapchat users donate to the cause. Snapchat added a feature that lets Snapchat users swipe upward on COVID-19 stories to donate directly from publisher content, per its announcement.
Snapchat has turned one of its most popular features to engage with mobile users into a tool for raising money for COVID-19 relief. More than 75% of Snapchat users engage with the image-messaging app's AR content every day on average as they share messages with friends, and post photos and videos to their Stories. Snapchat can extend the reach of its fundraising campaign as users share the AR content in the app and urge others to make donations. The AR activation also is notable for pointing to a page that handles a credit card transaction, a feature that has applications for other kinds of marketing efforts.
Snapchat also seeks to convert engagement with its Discover content into donations as its users seek more information about the pandemic from publishers. Snapchat's Discover section consists of a curated selection of content providers, which not only helps with brand safety, but also ensures that the information they provide is reputable. More than 445 Discover Stories or Shows have been produced on COVID-19, while more than 68 million Snapchat users worldwide have seen content about COVID-19 in the app. In addition, more 40% of Generation Z users in the U.S. have seen content about the pandemic on Snapchat, per the company.
Snapchat is among the messaging apps that are pitching in to help WHO's relief efforts. Messaging app Rakuten Viber this month collaborated with WHO on a chatbot to fight misinformation about COVID-19. WHO planned to reach more than 50 million people with a service on WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook. The function was used by 10 million people within the first three days of its March 20 launch, Bloomberg News reported.