Facebook’s always looking to boost sharing and interaction on the platform – as The Social Network has noted previously:
“Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.”
Not only does this encourage more engagement (which is a crucial measure for social platform success), but more sharing means more data, and more data means better ad targeting. Facebook needs to facilitate connection in order to fuel their whole business model.
Which is why their latest test makes sense.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s rolling out a new “Discover People” option which will enable users to connect with others who are interested in similar things as they are, including upcoming events, people who work at the same company or even those who simply live nearby. The new feature was initially tested in Australia and New Zealand but it’s now in the process of being rolled out more widely.
The new option will be available within the options menu (the three lines) – some users will have access already.
Once selected, you’re prompted to update your profile bio and photo to ensure it’s accurate and up to date. Below that, you’re shown a list of all the events for which you’ve registered an interest in attending – when you click into any of these, you’re shown a listing of other people who will be heading along, and you can click onto any profile for more information.
As you can see, clicking on a profile will show you not only who each attendee is, but also any things you have in common with them, helping facilitate connection.
And as noted, in addition to events, you can also see a listing of work colleagues and people who live in the same area, further adding to the connective capacity of the tool.
It’s an interesting option, and it certainly adds something to the Facebook mix – but is connecting with strangers something Facebook users will warm to?
In the case of events – particularly business related functions – the tool makes some sense, and LinkedIn actually offers similar in their new platform prompts, introduced as part of their recent redesign.