What Is Facebook’s “Did You Know” Feature? This Update Encourages Everyone To Share Lots Of Fun Facts

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In case you were concerned that you weren't already spending enough time on Facebook while you aimlessly clicked through other peoples' pages and got zero work done, the social media leader is releasing a new feature today that's going to reduce your productivity even more — like, possibly to the negatives. On Tuesday, Facebook released a new feature called "Did You Know" that encourages users to share fun facts about themselves with their friends.

I remember when I first started using Facebook, I plugged heaps of information into my profile. All of my favorite movies, TV shows, and musicians were tagged, I marked off all the places I'd traveled to, I had collections of public photo albums chronicling everything from birthdays to vacations to concerts, I put quotes in my profile, I updated information about my interests and hobbies... in other words, I made sure that my Facebook page was a complete representation of who I was and what I was about.

But then, as I got older and started to segue into the professional world, my Facebook profile began to either shed information, or retain outdated information. First, I made my photo albums private, and soon after, I deleted my "About Me" section. Eventually, I untagged myself from tons of things in hopes to become a bit less of an open book. I'm sure I'm not the only one — though once upon a time our Facebook profiles told a complete story, for many Millennials, they're now merely Cliff notes.

The folks at Facebook want to bring back the personality to our feeds, though — and after hearing about this feature, I'm here for it. This is why they've created a new feature that prompts people to answer and share fun and thought provoking questions about themselves. They want to get people back to a place where they feel comfortable opening up on Facebook again. Just because we're adults now and many of our bosses and in-laws are Facebook friends, doesn't mean that we have to present ourselves as dimensional projections of ourselves. It's OK to be honest and silly and personable online. And of course, there's always the option to fine-tune your privacy settings. So, if you don't want everyone to be able to see your posts, you can create custom groups in your settings.

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Here's a few examples of questions that will now pop up on your Facebook page:

  • The superpower I want most is...
  • The first thing I'd do after winning the lottery is...
  • The football team I'm most loyal to is...
  • A guilty pleasure that I'm willing to admit to is...
  • My hidden talent is...
  • Mondays make me feel like...

You'll see the the questions on your profile page, and you'll see your friends' answers in your news feed. The new feature will be available starting Dec. 5 on iPhones, Androids, and the web. If you see one of your friend's responses to a question that you'd like to answer yourself, you can just tap the "Try It" button and you'll be prompted with your own opportunity to answer — or, you can just go to your profile page, and find the "Did You Know?" box on the left of your screen.

Even better, you can customize the way your "Did You Know" post looks by changing the background color, or adding a pattern or photo. Then your friends can react to your answer as they would on any other post, or click "Try It" for themselves. It's a great way to reconnect with people you've fallen out of touch with, or get to know your friends better without having to think of any ice breakers.

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And TBH, as someone who greatly struggles with ice breakers in real life, I'm tempted to use some of these "Did You Know" prompts as party conversation starters this holiday season. Instead of feeling awkward, just ask anyone what they'd do with their fortune if the won the lottery. It's definitely weirder than talking about cheese or the weather, but at least it's interesting!