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Facebook feature leads to surge in organ donor registrations in California

It’s only been a day since Facebook announced a new feature that allows users of the social network to share their organ donor status on their profiles. But in at least one state, the move already seems to be having an impact.

Donate Life California, one of the state’s federally-designated organ and tissue registries, said on its Facebook page that as of 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, it had seen a 1,400 percent jump in registration that day.

“Thank you, FACEBOOK, for offering hope to people on the waiting list! Phenomenal!,” the posting said.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the nonprofit group’s chief executive, Charlene Zettel, explained how the tool could help her organization’s cause.

“It’s important to have a diverse group of donors to select from ... . Nothing is doing education like Facebook did this morning,” she said.

The new feature was unveiled Tuesday in a ‘Good Morning America’ interview with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. As The New York Times noted, it marks an unusual step for a company that hasn’t previously sought to use its platform to spur a cultural shift.

Wondering how you can update your profile accordingly? Hayley Tsukayama explains here how to add it.

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Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.
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