Facebook is testing a new feature that will let users alert their friends about posts, potentially allowing people to bombard others with notifications.
The feature is currently being tested among certain users in the UK, Canada and France on Facebook’s website and iOS app, and is similar to the much-derided Facebook “poke”.
Those who are testing the feature see a loudspeaker icon and a message saying “Notify a few friends about this post” after posting a status update.
By clicking the box they are able to share the post with up to 10 friends.
The feature would represent a new way to alert users to posts privately, yet still within Facebook, which isn’t available at present.
At the moment, if a user wants to get someone’s attention by sharing a status with someone, they have to either message them a link to the post or “tag” them in the post itself.
This can be irritating to most people reading the comments on a post as well as cluttering up the person in question’s own timeline.
The new feature would simply result in a Facebook notification for the person alerted, without any public tagging or sharing.
However, it could also be seen as another way to spam users with notifications, potentially reincarnating the gone-but-not-forgotten Facebook poke. The company has not said when or if the feature will be fully introduced.
“When you make a post that is particularly interesting to certain friends, you want to make sure they see it. Instead of tagging friends in the post or the comments section, we’re testing a more discreet option to alert them of your post by sending them a notification,” a Facebook spokesman said.