Facebook is quietly testing a new feature that lets users tag friends with a word and phrase that describes their personality or interests. The feature, first spotted by The Verge, is not unlike LinkedIn’s capabilities to tag users on the site with job-related terms.
Facebook confirmed to Mashable the feature is currently being tested in New Zealand.
“We’re testing a new feature called profile tags,” a spokesperson said. “Created by a small team as part of a Facebook hackathon, 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. You can control what tags are shown on your own profile.”
For the small pool of users with access to the tool, a user can visit a friend’s profile page and tag them with a free-form word, phrase or even emoji. Consider: bike enthusiast, good listener, ambitious or eating competition winner — all of which are arguably good conversation starters.
Users, who are notified of the tag, can either approve or decline it (so cyberbullies trying to abuse the tool will be shooting blanks). Tags that are approved will show up publicly on a person’s profile page, and they’ll appear in order of how many Likes they receive by others. Users can add tags to their own pages, though it’s unclear right now how high a reading that would score on your Facebook narcissism meter if you did.
The feature may or may not ever be rolled out to the greater public. It’s common for the company to test new tools in certain markets to see if they will have mass appeal.