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Facebook pays attention to the “prayers” of religious users and gives them a little help

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Perhaps it could be a new way that Mark Zuckerberg’s platform found to monetize the “thoughts and prayers” (data) of its users in the religious segment. What is certain is that on Thursday, Facebook confirmed that it has begun to expand a new feature called “prayer post” that will allow members of specific Facebook groups to request (and offer) prayers. to other people on the platform.

A company spokesperson confirmed that the feature has been in testing for “more than a year” before being quietly released to the public in recent months. In April, Robert Jones – director of the Public Religion Research Institute in Washington DC – was one of the first public faces to effectively challenge the company about this post.

At the time, his questioning did not deserve treatment by the press, however some newspapers specialized in religion were interested in the subject, which made Facebook confirm that the prayer messages were actually being tested in some selected groups, even though it had not specified in which of the groups.

Facebook pays attention to the prayers of religious users and

At that time, Nona Jones – who has the complex role of leading “Global Faith Partnerships” for the company – told one of these religious channels that the idea of ​​a “prayer post” arose out of the need to “build a community” with users in the process. of the pandemic.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw many faith and spiritual communities using our services to connect, so we are starting to explore new tools to support them,” said a Facebook spokesperson. He added that the feature debuted in select groups across the United States and is intended to “give people the option to request prayer from their Facebook group” if they so choose.

However, the company did not respond to questions about whether these publication data could be used to address advertisements to users based on their group prayer habits.

A group administrator who chooses to use the feature, members simply need to place prayer requests in the group, and then others can join in and click the “pray” button to notify the author of their request. prayer.

Source: gizmodo

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