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Facebook Testing Discreet Notification Feature to Avoid Over-Tagging

Facebook Testing Discreet Notification Feature to Avoid Over-Tagging
Highlights
  • This feature rolled out to few users in France, Canada, and the UK.
  • Will allow users to discreetly notify others without tagging.
  • Commercial rollout details remain undisclosed.

Facebook is testing a new feature that could discreetly allow users to notify friends without having to tag them. This feature is currently working only for limited users in Canada, France, and the UK on iOS and Web platforms.

For these users, there is a small box below posts that shows up allowing them to alert other friends about the post. Traditionally, users need to tag friends in the post itself, in the comments section, or share the post on their Timeline to bring the post to the attention of the relevant friends. However, this method can potentially cause unwanted attention, as the post will appear on the friend's Timeline if they do not have Timeline Review enabled.

Thus, the use case of the new discreet notification system, which will eliminate the tagging process and enable users to just notify others without the post showing up on their News Feed or Timeline.

While tagging won't lose relevance, as some specific posts require tagging, it will reduce overpopulation irrelevant or inappropriate posts on Timelines. However, in some cases tagging cannot just be avoided, like a group photo. In such cases, the Timeline Review feature comes to the rescue, as it first allows the user to moderate all the tagged posts before it shows up on their Timeline.

Facebook confirmed that it is testing this feature, but hasn't disclosed commercial rollout details yet. The social giant told TechCrunch, "When you make a post that is particularly interesting to certain friends - you want to make sure they see it. Instead of tagging friends in the post or the comments section, you will now have a more discreet option to alert them of your post by sending them a notification."

This feature presumably aims to eliminate unnecessary tagging, and avoid all those thousand irrelevant comments with just tags. Alternatively, Facebook is also testing another feature that aims to give users the option to publish a post only to the News Feed and not on their Timeline. This feature will let users post as much as they want on the News Feed without having it saved in its profile history.

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