Following Facebook's announcement that users in the US and UK can now share that they are an organ donor with their friends, the Donate Life California registry has seen an 800 percent rise in online sign ups.


After promising to add a "life-changing" feature to his social network, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on ABC's Good Morning America that users of the social network can now include donor designations on their profile page.

The registry said on its Facebook page: "As of 12:30pm today [1 May], the Donate Life California registry has increased its online donor sign ups by nearly 800 percent from yesterday thanks to this mornings announcement of the partnership with Facebook! Thank you Facebook!"

Zuckerberg told ABC's Robin Roberts: "Recently when the tornadoes came through in Missouri a lot of people were using Facebook to organise and return items that were lost to people who thought that they would never find them.

"In Japan when there were these disasters last year people were using Facebook to help locate their friends and family."

"We want to make it simple," said Zuckerberg. "You just put in the state or country that you're from, so that we can help link you to the official registries."

The hope is that when people share their story about when, where or why they decided to become a donor they will inspire other users to do the same.

Figures released by Facebook reveal that approximately 114,000 people are on the waiting list for an organ in the US, with 18 people dying every day without receiving the organ they need.