Facebook’s social graph is aging, full of long-lost acquaintances and hometown friends you don’t care much about interpreting in the News Feed any more. But Facebook is now testing a fulcrum away from its core identity of connecting you with existing pals so it can revitalize the social graph and keep people coming back. Facebook’s “Meet New Friends” lets you browse people from shared communities such as your school, workplace or metropoli who’ve also opted in to the aspect. Proclaimed today at Facebook’s F8 seminar, Meet New Friends now in experimenting in a few marketplaces before it’s rolled out more widely soon.
Meet New Friends could give people fresh pals to follow in their News Feed, or help recently registered consumers develop their network until they have access to enough content to keep them busy. And eventually, Facebook could layer on monetization aspects similar to dating apps where customers pay to be shown more prominently to potential connections.
Fidji Simo, the is chairman of Facebook’s main app, tells me Meet New Friends was based on emerging actions the company had spotted.” Developing their relations with people they didn’t already know is very different from the core employ suit of Facebook ,” but she notes,” We’ve already seen that naturally happen in Groups, and Meet New Friends will shape that a bit easier .”
When consumers open Meet New Friends, they pick all levels of society through which they’re open to meeting new friends. For now they choose between schools, employers and places, but Facebook will ultimately add Groups too. In that sense it works a little bit like Facebook Dating, which rolls out to 14 new countries today and opens to dating friends with its brand-new Secret Crush feature.
Algorithms will sort potential contacts by who is most relevant, such as those with mutual friends or shared interests, but you won’t get “matched” where both users have to state their interest in the other. Instead, users to be able to just browse profiles, and then either send people a pal request( which is able to feel a little bit out of the blue ), or send them a single text-only content to a recipient’s dedicated Meet New Friends chat inbox. They can’t message that person or persons again until they answer( to prevent spamming ), and the text-only restriction ensures no unsavory photos get smashed around. If they do reply, the weave was taking steps to Facebook Messenger.
Meet New Friends will pit Facebook against a range of other apps, from local-focused Meetup and Nextdoor to verticalized apps like Hey Vina for women only to dating-affiliated apps like Bumble BFF. But Facebook benefits from its ubiquity, so users can try Meet New Friends without feeling embarrassed by downloading an app simply to construct them less lonely.
For times, the mildly creepy People You May Know feature has been a cornerstone of Facebook’s growth strategy. But it’s still just about recreating your offline social graph online. As Facebook strives to become more meaningful to people’s lives, fostering new friendships could give people a fuzzy feeling about the giant corporation.
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