Facebook testing ‘things in common’ label to try to connect non-friends


Facebook said that it’s testing out a  new feature “things in common,” that would allow non-friends to connect. This feature would be present in the comment section and shows the things that are in common like if you live in the same city as someone or went to the same college.  Facebook will highlight things you have in common with non-friends who have left comments.

In the comment section, under the username, you might see a label that says “You both went to the University,” or that you’re both from Phoenix. Apart from that, Facebook might also highlight if you’re both a part of the same public Facebook group, or if you work for the same company, but are not Facebook friends. The company said the idea is to spark connections between non-Facebook friends that users might otherwise pass over.

The test comes as a move to combat harassment on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. So highlighting commonalities between people on Facebook might spur some disclosure. This new feature also helps the company scrutinize fake accounts and make sure to safeguard against abuse. It also says that the information that people have shared publicly will be shown in the “things in common” labels. Since it is in the testing phase, the feature is available to the limited audience in the USA.

A Facebook spokeswoman in a statement said:

Knowing shared things in common helps people connect. 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.