Facebook announced on Friday that it will be adding a new feature on its popular social media platform, called “things in common”, where people can see commonalities like hometown or if you attended the same university.
Here’s how it works: When you read through a public conversation -- like on a brand or publisher page -- Facebook will highlight things you have in common with non-friends who have left comments. So, under someone’s name, you might see a label that says “You both went to the University of Virginia,” or that you’re both from Dubai.
The purpose is for people to see possible common things with non-friends, like if you’re part of the same Facebook group, or the same company, and spark a connection that might otherwise not have been there if it weren’t for this feature.
The company added that this would be a mere test carried out in the US, and made no further comment on whether they would expand it to other countries.
Facebook also said that only information that users have made public will be used in the feature. This comes after the company faced major backlash following the social network’s failure to protect private data and prevent manipulation of the platform.