All You Need To Know About The New Facebook “Ask” Button

Facebook’s getting to be a bit of a nosy old biddy… or rather, it’s giving your friends the chance to be one.

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Just last week, Facebook installed their new “Ask” button, which will allow curious friends to request the actual relationship status of their crushes – or friends who haven’t listed down their relationship status on Facebook.

If you ask me, it’s slightly awkward, really. The way I see it, if a person hasn’t listed their relationship status down, there’s probably a reason for it.

Still, I guess the reason Facebook is bringing out this new feature isn’t to rub salt into any emotional wounds, but to help bring people together on their site.

Here’s how the “Ask” button works.

The button will appear on your profile if you haven’t publicly set any relationship info on your profile. However, it will only be visible to your friends.

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As you can see, clicking on the button brings up a little pop-up where you can type in a note, if you like.

Interestingly, assuming the person responds, only the asker will be able to see the relationship status – it remains invisible to other users. (Though you can also choose to announce it to your entire Friends list, should you so desire.

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Other things you need to know about the “Ask” button:

  • You can also “ask” about other information, such as where a person’s hometown is, or which high school they attended.
  • There’s currently no way to turn this feature off.
  • You can’t see the button on your own profile page (for obvious reasons).
  • You can ask for the relationship status of users of the same or opposite gender.
  • Marketers can use this new feature as well.

It’s generally understood that by answering an “ask”, Facebook users will be providing their data to marketers.

This new “Ask” button can help provide valuable information to help marketers to better target their ads and services to Facebook users.

And not just about relationship info. Since people can also request other information as well, technically a person’s friends’ general enquiries could potentially provide marketers with telephone numbers, addresses, email addresses and all sorts of other mouth-watering data.

In a way, it’s kind of scary. Which is probably why most people aren’t actually very happy with Facebook’s attempt to get in on the dating site game.

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But really, who would actually be happy that even more of our personal info is being released to marketers?

And who would be happy that now people are allowed to pester you with personal questions – even people who have limited privacy settings on your Friends list?

But then again, it’s not like we’re going to quit Facebook over this, right?

You don’t have to answer the “Ask”s. And you don’t have to respond to your friends’ questions.

And as for marketing data… we can only wait and see exactly how useful this annoying new feature is going to be.

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