Facebook tests a new feature to help you make new friends
The way it works is by adding an extra line of text above a person’s name in the comment section of a public post. This line contains the “thing in common” that you and this person have. The added information can range from showing you that someone is from the same city to the fact that you are both part of another group or you’ve graduated the same high school or college and anything in between.
Facebook hopes that this will help people find both acquittances they know but haven’t added to their friends yet and complete strangers that they want to connect to, based on the thing they have in common. While most people wouldn’t just add a stranger just because they live in the same city, if the algorithms pick the right “things in common” and Facebook implements the feature to all of its 2 billion+ users, it can have a meaningful impact for the social network.
In case you were worried that Facebook will share random facts about you with strangers, the company states that the feature will only use information that the users have made publicly available.
User information is Facebook’s main resource that it uses to attract advertisers. Besides letting people make new friends, the new feature aims to improve the interconnectivity between groups, adding another layer of information to Facebook’s already rich database, and helps advertisers better target their audience.
“Things in common” is currently tested only with some US users and there’s no information on when the rest of the social network’s members will see it implemented (or if they ever will).