Snapchat's new lens helps users donate to the WHO’s COVID-19 relief fund

It’s also adding a swipe-up-to-donate feature to its Discover platform.


Snapchat’s latest AR filter lets users donate directly to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. With the Snapchat camera, users can scan 23 international currencies in 33 countries. The AR filter will show how donations to the WHO are used for patient care, medical supplies and research. Snapchatters can then donate and encourage friends to do the same.

Snapchat is also giving media publishers covering COVID-19 on its Discover platform a swipe-up-to-donate feature. To date, over 68 million Snapchat users have viewed COVID-19-related content on the platform, so the feature has the potential to reach a huge population. Snap says over 40 percent of Gen Z in the US has tuned in to the content.

This isn’t Snapchat’s first COVID-19 filter. In March, it added mental health tools to help ease coronavirus anxiety through the “Here For You” tool. Those include information from the Crisis Text Line, Ad Council, WHO and CDC. A couple weeks later, Snapchat added lenses that encourage social distancing, hand washing and the importance of not touching your face.

Like seemingly all communication platforms, Snapchat has seen an uptick in activity with more people staying home. It reported a 50 percent increase in its calling feature during the last two weeks of March.

Snapchat isn’t alone in supporting the WHO’s COVID-19 relief fund. A 12-hour Stream Aid Charity Marathon on Twitch last month raised 2.8 million for the Solidarity Response Fund. The game studio Ndemic Creations, behind Plague Inc., donated $250,000, and late-night hosts and musicians will come together on April 18th for a virtual benefit concert. Donations will support the WHO’s work to track and understand the virus, ensure patients get the care they need, provide frontline workers with essential supplies and accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests and treatments.