Facebook is rolling out a new feature to its smartphone app that will make it easier to find new friends, colleagues, and even potential dates.
“Discover People,” as the new feature is called, will allow users to scroll through events to see who is going, as well as browse lists of other people based on certain criteria that you match with. The aim, apparently, is to help Facebook users discover new friends they might not know in person.
“Too often, it’s hard to learn more about people around you, whether it is upon starting a new job, joining a new group, deciding if you want to attend an event, or moving to a new place,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch, adding that the feature is meant to help users “discover more about people [they] have things in common with.”
Located in the More menu, accessed with the three-lined button in the bottom-right of the app, the feature first prompts you to update your profile and featured photos “so people can get to know you better.” Below, the Discover People section has a list of events that you’ve expressed interest in or have been invited to. From here, you can scroll through a list of attendee profiles one-by-one — but profiles belonging to users who aren’t your friends yet.
Additionally, through the Discover People section, you can also browse lists of people who live in your city or who work for the same employer as you. The feature has some obvious applications — in a weird cross between platforms like LinkedIn and Tinder — including professional networking, dating or simply finding new people to hang out with.
The new section signals an obvious shift for Facebook, a platform normally dedicated to connecting people who already know each other in-person. Discover People, presumably, is meant to help foster additional interactions and growth for Facebook, according to Business Insider. And the section echoes similar features that have already been rolled out on Instagram, a completely different platform, but one that Facebook owns.
An important note for privacy-minded individuals: Facebook has said that only information set to Public can be seen through Discover People.
As of Friday, the feature is being gradually rolled out to Facebook’s Android and iOS app — though, as of the writing of this article, it hasn’t reached 100 percent of users yet.