Facebook is taking a cue from LinkedIn and testing new “Profile Tags” feature
Have you ever looked at your Facebook profile page and lamented that the one thing it was missing was — profile tags? You know, like the ones on LinkedIn that purport to list your professional skills so colleagues and potential employers can instantly see what you are good at?
Well, evidently Facebook has come around to thinking that such tags are desirable for your personal profile, and The Verge is reporting that it’s already started testing the concept on accounts in New Zealand.
When asked by the tech blog whether this was real or some kind of optical illusion, Verge reader Luke M. told Verge that about Facebook’s new profile tags feature and the company confirmed it was testing them out with the following statement: “Profile tags are a creative tool that lets you and your friends add tags to your profile to highlight the things that describe you and what you’re into.” Created as part of an internal Facebook hackathon, the new feature will let you add tags to your own profile, or let your friends add tags for you, which you must approve before they become publicly visible. Tags are free-form, which means you can type in pretty much whatever you want, even including emojis.
Just like LinkedIn, you can assign tags to yourself, or your friends can assign them at your approval. And being Facebook, you can create whatever tag you want — you won’t have to pick from a set list. You can even use emoji — and that will likely be the kicker.
Once the feature is rolled out to everyone, friends can add tags by going to your profile and tag you using words or phrases that describe you, or what you do (“happy camper”, “thinker”, “graphic artist” etc.) You’ll receive a notification, prompting you to accept or decline your tags. If you accept, the tags become visible to everyone; if you decline, the tags disappear. Or you could just ignore the notification (cough, just like you do with certain friend requests), and the tags will remain pending, visible only to you and the friend who tagged you. Once approved, other friends can “like” your tags, which will appear in descending order by the number of likes. If you don’t like a tag, then you don’t have to approve it. Or you can just leave it hanging and its presence will remain your secret — only you and the tagger will see it until you decisively refuse it.
And just like all other things people add to your timeline, this will be yet another occasion for a Facebook notification.
With this new feature, Facebook is both pulling features from other sites but also adding yet another layer to an already complex experience — the social network seems to want to be your one stop-shop for connecting with friends, catching up on news, watching videos, and, with this latest update, maybe even connecting with strangers who have similar interests. How tags will actually be used though, there’s no word yet on when Facebook will be testing or rolling out the new profile tags elsewhere. According to Facebook, this feature is currently only being tested in New Zealand, with no word on when other countries might get to try it.