Facebook is going button crazy, adding a new – and slightly creepy – “Ask” button to check up on someone’s relationship status, and reportedly intending to roll out an “I’m a Voter” button to encourage election engagement. The “Ask” button for current relationship is an extension of the similar options for things like employment and contact details, but Facebook has now made it easier to to find out whether someone is dating.
Clicking the button allows users to add a text note, too, which Facebook helpfully explains as being to let them know “why you’re asking” for the information.
Although it seems mildly stalker-like, the new button is only the latest in Facebook’s push into better understanding users’ relationships. Back in February, the social site announced it had crunched the math on its users and figured out which were most likely to be lucky in love, depending on religious beliefs, location, and other data.
For instance, relationships lasting to the three month point had a 50-percent chance of going for four years or longer, Facebook’s statisticians said.
As for voting, Facebook trialled the “I’m a Voter” button in India recently: clicking it adds a badge to their timeline. The button was pressed by more than four million users there, the company said, and so will be rolled out again for European Parliament and Colombian elections.
Those users facing other elections later in 2014 will also get to show that they’ve cast their vote, though the shared message does not contain actual details on who was voted for.
It’s not the only feature believed to be in Facebook’s pipeline. The company is said to be readying a new Snapchat rival, internally dubbed Slingshot, in the hope of mounting a better challenge to the ephemeral messaging service than the ill-fated Poke managed.