New "Ask" buttons popping up in profiles of friends at the leading social network let people inquire about omitted information such as whether they are in romantic relationships or where they live.
People can also prompt friends to reveal where they work; what schools they attended, or where they were born. The Daily Dot [says]:
On desktop or mobile, users get shown the Ask button when people in their network haven't provided personal details in their profile, like their hometown or their relationship status. Only users who are friends with each other will see each others' Ask buttons, and Facebook requires that users list a reason why they're requesting the information, which may decrease the chances of someone just getting bored and clicking 'Ask' on all their friends.
Inviting people to nose into whether friends are available for love or where they can be found prompted online comments about the potential to encourage flirting or even stalking.
There was nothing requiring Facebook members to answer honestly, if at all.
Word of the "Ask" feature came with unconfirmed reports that the Northern California-based online social network is working on a self-destructing message service that could challenge SnapChat - which reportedly rejected a $3 billion offer from Facebook.
Facebook on Monday declined to comment on what it referred to as "speculation or rumor." However, a company representative told Ars Technica that the featured had originally been released out in January and was now rolling out to more users:
A Facebook representative responded to say that this "ask" feature has been rolled out in waves to users since January, though when asked pointedly whether this was in the form of the obvious "ask" button that is now live across the site, or previously reported functionality buried in users' profiles, the representative was unable to clarify.
(Image credit: Huffington Post)
Written with inputs from AFP