Facebook is introducing a new feature that sees the company step towards the world of online dating.
The social giant’s new feature lets users search for connections by mutual interest in events, as well as location and occupation.
Called Discover People, the new feature is currently being rolled out for Android and iOS users.
Discover People helps to facilitate connections between unfriended Facebook users.
Located under the navigation section of the app, the feature first asks users to introduce themselves by updating their Facebook profile to include a bio and a featured photo.
From here, users will be able to see a list of events they’ve shown an interest in.
If the user taps on one of the events, they will be able to browse through the profiles of other people who have shown an interest.
Facebook’s Discover People also gives users the opportunity to look through those who live in the same area as them, and those who work for the same company.
Interestingly, the new feature will not show users the people they are already connected with on Facebook – confirming the feature as a discovery tool, and one that places it closer to the realm of online dating.
The tool was first trialled in Australia and New Zealand last year, and is now being rolled out globally.
A spokesperson for the tech giant said: “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.”
As with recent introductions like Nearby Friends and Nearby Places, the release seems like an exploratory feature for Facebook – the company adding new ways for users to connect, in order to track engagement and interest to inform future decisions.
For Facebook, the negatives of a move into the dating vertical would likely far outweigh the positives, especially for a company that generated $26.9bn in ad sales last year, but that doesn’t mean social discovery features like Discover People couldn’t begin to encroach on the space.
To find out more about Discover People please click here.