Facebook is rolling out a new feature called Discover People. This is designed to help you make new friends, providing a way of breaking the ice with complete strangers. Unfortunately, to make this happen Facebook needs to know where you live, where you work, and what you do at weekends.
Discover People is an extension of the People You May Know feature you’ll already be familiar with. However, while People You May Know seeks to pair you with friends of friends, Discover People throws the net much wider to include absolute strangers even Kevin Bacon doesn’t know.
An Excuse to Update Your Profile
You’ll find Discover People hiding behind the More menu on the Facebook app. Scroll down until you find it, and once you click on it you’ll be asked to “introduce yourself” so “people can get to know you better”. This essentially means updating your profile so it’s up-to-date.
Once you have updated your profile, Facebook will surface people it thinks you may want to befriend. At launch these matches are based on events you’re attending or are interested in, groups you’re a member of, your current city, and/or your current workplace.
This explains the need to have your profile bang up-to-date. And there’s nothing to stop Facebook adding more ways of connecting people in the future. We suspect Discover People is the start of a larger effort to help people make friends and more with people in real life.
Discover People With Common Interests
A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch:
“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.”
“To make it easier, we’re starting to roll out a new bookmark in the More menu called ‘Discover People’ that can help you discover more about people you have things in common with by browsing through profile cards of people in your community.”
Facebook tested Discover People in Australia and New Zealand at the end of last year. Now, it’s rolling out worldwide to everyone using Facebook on Android and Facebook on iOS. If you can’t yet find the Discover People tab then you should see it after the next update.
Do you have any desire to make new friends from complete strangers? Or are you happy with your current crop of friends? Do you like the idea of this feature? Or do you think Discover People could be a little bit creepy? Please let us know in the comments below!