Facebook has apparently found a way to make chatting with strangers a little less creepier, as Facebook Messenger now gets a new feature that shows geographical and other background information of users chatting each other for the first time. It gives users more control as to whom they would want to interact, even if they are not on their friends’ list.
The new feature now provides users with contextual information about a concerned user such as location, mutual friends and profession that is now displayed on the chat window. Users who wish to chat with one another, however, are not Facebook friends, only the information that is publicly available will be displayed by Facebook messenger. While users will be able to spot other users based on mutual preferences and start a conversation with them.
This new feature comes shortly after the social networking giant released a new voice calling called ‘Hello,’ which also provides some background info of the person who is calling. This allows a user to view the information about the user calling and decide whether to accept or block the contact.
Before this feature was rolled out, messages from strangers were automatically moved to the ‘Other Inbox’, that is essentially treated as a Spam folder by a majority of users.
The update new is now available on both Android and iOS and has initially been launched in the US, UK, India and France, while there is no information available as to when this new feature will be rolling out in other parts of the world.
With the launch of this new feature along with its Voice calling app, its seems Facebook wants to connect users with other users based on their interest and preferences, not just their friends, which could foster new connections and may act as a tool to bolster one’s professional connections as well.
With this new feature, users might decide to spend more time on Facebook’s Messenger, which hasn’t gained as much popularity compared to other instant messaging apps. This could likely engage more users in a conversation now, rather than chatting with a complete stranger, eventually realizing Facebook’s goal to attract more users to use its Messenger chat app.