Facebook is trying yet again to improve its functionality. This time it is testing a new feature that tells you not just if your friends are online, but whether they are online on their mobile device or PC.
In the past, if you were online either on the PC or mobile device, Facebook only would show if you were online. Now, your Facebook friends will be able to see if you are online on mobile device or on PC.
This new feature was first seen by users in India, so it appears that the feature is still in testing. At this time, it appears that the feature still has some bugs.
After this was first spotted in India, some online publications talked to Facebook, and the company did confirm that this feature is in the works. The company also is working on better ad targeting for its mobile device platform.
But why is Facebook doing this? The idea of giving a user more information about the kind of devices their friends are connecting with goes back to the early days of messaging. Such early services were built for large enterprises, and those users wanted to integrate mobile and desktop messaging. They wanted to be connected around the clock and also know where exactly their messages were going.
This sort of requirement is not as important now, but we still can see some reasons why you might want to know where your friends are connecting from.
One reason is that even though smartphones are more computer like than ever, there still is a difference between interacting on a full screen and keyboard, and on a small mobile device. If you are on mobile, you will give a shorter answer, and may not respond as fast. This sort of information is useful for people to know.
We always see changes at Facebook, from new features to changes in user demographics. We’ll be watching to see what changes come next!