Facebook’s new social discovery tool is the closest the platform has ever come to offering something that resembles a dating service.
Facebook is rolling out a new tool to help you make friends with users of its massive social network.
Much like the contact and profile suggestions you’d find on the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter, the new “Discover People” feature suggests people you have something in common with. For example, it could match you with users based on the city you live in, Facebook groups you belong to, events you’ve shown an interest in, and work colleagues.
The tool is tucked away in the “more” menu navigation tab on the Facebook mobile apps, below “friends,” “events,” “groups,” “nearby places,” and other functions. Facebook has confirmed that Discover People just started rolling out and will gradually be available to all iOS and Android users, TechCrunch reports.
When you open “Discover People,” you’ll see at the top of the display a message asking you to “introduce yourself” so “people can get to know you better.” If you click on your profile picture, Facebook will direct you to another screen where you can add a short bio, another swipe to the left will ask you to add featured photos.
The friend suggestions are available back at the start screen — scroll down the page and you’ll be able to access the groups you’re a member of, and a separate section titled “Discover People.” Tap to make your selection and Facebook will present you with a series of user profiles you can swipe through and connect with. It will all be very familiar to anyone that has used a dating app such as Tinder, but (for now) it seems Facebook’s intention is only to help you to meet users based on your location and common interests. The rest is up to you.
The feature seems to be an extension of Facebook’s “people you may know” tool for desktop, which previously came under fire when a report alleged it used location data to make its suggestions. Facebook claimed the information in the article was inaccurate, and specifically “denied using device location and location information you add to your profile.”
Does the update border on the creepy? Will it make you feel like a stalker? We’ll leave that up to you to decide. Facebook, however, insists that it is still not using your location data: “We only use what city you say is your current city on your profile,” a spokesperson told Digital Trends. “If your setting is private, you can still use people discovery to find other people who are also in the city you listed, but other people cannot find you based on your current city.”