WASHINGTON (AFP) - Facebook on Tuesday unveiled an initiative to use the vast social network to connect organ donors with people who need life-saving transplants.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement and became one of the first Facebook users to sign up on the social network to be an organ donor.

Members of Facebook in the United States and Britain can now indicate that they are organ donors on their timelines, and if they are not donors, they can find links to official organ donation registries and instantly enroll. “Facebook is really about communicating and telling stories,” Zuckerberg told ABC News.

“We think that people can really help spread awareness of organ donation and that they want to participate in this to their friends. And that can be a big part of helping solve the crisis that’s out there.”

Zuckerberg said he was motivated to launch the program by conversations with his girlfriend, who is a medical student, and his friendship with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, whose life was extended by a liver transplant.