Facebook is testing a new feature that encourages users to befriend people they don’t actually know.
‘Discover People’ invites you to “introduce yourself” first by updating various sections of your profile, including your bio and featured photos.
Beneath this lies a list of upcoming events you’re either interested in, registered to attend or invited to.
Here’s where things get creepy.
TechCrunch reports that tapping any of the entries opens up a list of the profiles of strangers – strictly people you aren't friends with – who are also potentially interested in the event, which you can swipe through one-by-one, and add.
Below the upcoming events section on the Discover People landing page are sections filled with the profiles of people from past events you’ve attended, as well as people who live near you or work at your company.
It’s an unusual feature, which shares common ground with Tinder and Bumble, dating apps that also invite users to swipe through individuals.
It's likely to pick up criticism from privacy advocates too. After all, a great deal of Facebook events are public, which opens up your profile to countless numbers of users.
Facebook Cloning – a tactic where scammers create an account using the exact same name, personal information and profile and cover photos included on your own profile, before attempting to trick your friends and family into sharing your private details – is on the rise, and Discover People could make it easier for fraudsters to pick their targets.
That said, Discover People is still in testing, and there's a chance it might never roll out to all Facebook users.
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