Facebook fans can now wish friends a happy birthday with an animated video — or by donating to a selected charity.
Facebook users now send about 45 million birthday wishes — every single day. Facebook is embracing the birthday numbers with two new updates announced today, August 16. The Facebook birthday tools now include a way for users to choose a non-profit to receive donations on their birthday, along with a new video option for getting creative with those happy birthday posts.
The first feature expands on Facebook’s ability to donate to a cause without leaving the platform. Now, about two weeks before their birthday, users will receive a notification that allows them to select a non-profit to support. If a non-profit is selected, friends will receive a notification with the option to donate to the birthday campaign.
Facebook says the birthday campaigns allow users to support one of the 750,000 non-profit organizations on Facebook. For now, the feature is only launching in the U.S. Facebook says that users already often dedicate their birthday gifts to a non-profit and the new feature makes that easier to set up.
For the well-wishers, a video option is breaking up the long list of happy birthday wall posts. With the new feature, Facebook automatically creates a happy birthday video using a photo. The idea isn’t unlike the videos Facebook offers for friendiversaries and other special events, adding animation to a photo and text.
Facebook says the feature is designed to make birthdays on Facebook a bit more fun.
“Birthdays have always been a part of Facebook, and we hope to continue providing you with a variety of experiences that make celebrating on the platform fun and meaningful for you and your friends,” the company said in a blog post.
The update isn’t the first time Facebook has launched a new birthday-focused feature. Last year, the platform started giving users the option to record a 15-second happy birthday greeting. The option is included with text and photo options and pops up on a user’s wall on their birthday. Facebook’s birthday alerts have also probably saved many birthdays from being forgotten since first launching the feature, which is now one of the social media platform’s most-used notification tools.