By doing little more than taking a photo and swiping across their smartphone screen a few times, Snapchat users on Tuesday can raise as much as $3 million to combat AIDS.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plans to donate $3 to the nonprofit group (RED) for each use of a decorative “World AIDS Day” banner on Snapchat. Known to Snapchat users as geofilters, the digital banners or stickers typically bear the name of an event or place, providing a creative way for users to tell friends where a photo or video was taken.
U2 frontman Bono and Bobby Shriver founded (RED) a decade ago to create a brand around AIDS prevention for special products from big brands like Nike, Starbucks and Beats Electronics, with a portion of those sales going to medical education and treatment. It has raised $325 million.
The Gates Foundation expects to close donations after 1 million uses of the geofilter. But it will donate an additional $1 million if a music video on YouTube -- starring Scarlett Johansson, Barry Manilow and Jimmy Kimmel -- is shared more than 333,000 times.
Snapchat’s app doesn’t provide a way for people to buy products or open a link to buy something elsewhere. That means no direct donations either. With the (RED) stickers, Snapchat users will see just messages like “Join the fight.”
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