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Facebook Testing a Feature That May Help You Befriend Strangers

The tool is being tested as part of Facebook's efforts to make public discussions more meaningful, the report said

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Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Facebook is testing a feature that can point to the commonalities you have with other random users — whether you share a neighbourhood with them or went to the same university.

The feature, called “things in common”, may help you connect with random commentators on public posts, Engadget reported on Sunday.

The tool, currently available for a few users in the US, displays titbits of information a user has in common with people they are not friends with.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Facebook said the tags that the feature uses will not violate a user’s privacy as they only show information that are publicly available, meaning the same information can also be seen by someone by visiting a user’s profile.

The tool is being tested as part of Facebook’s efforts to make public discussions more meaningful, the report said.

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“Knowing shared things in common helps people connect,” a Facebook spokesperson told Engadget.

“We’re testing adding a ‘things in common’ label that will appear above comments from people who you’re not friends with but you might have something in common with. Only information that people made publicly available on their profiles will be eligible to show up.” (IANS)

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Local News Dry up for Facebook Media Project in US

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms

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Facebook, Data
A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

Facebook is having trouble finding enough local news to feed its new journalism initiative, because hundreds of newspapers have shut down in the US.

“About one in three users in the US live in places where we cannot find enough local news on Facebook to launch ‘Today In’,” Facebook wrote in a blog post on Monday.

In those “news deserts” – communities with little or no local reporting – Facebook hasn’t been able to find “five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns” for its news feature “Today In” that was launched in November last year.

“In the last 28 days, there has not been a single day where we’ve been able to find five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns.

“This does not vary much by region: 35 per cent of users in the Midwest, Northeast, and South — and 26 per cent in the West a” live in places where we can’t find much local newson Facebook,” said the social networking company.

Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Today In” has been rolled out to over 400 cities in the US.

“We’re also announcing a new pilot programme, the Facebook Journalism Project Community Network, to support projects aimed at building community through local news,” said Facebook.

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According to Engadget, nearly 1,800 papers have shut down in the US since around the time Facebook came online 15 years ago.

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms. (IANS)