Facebook Confirms Testing of New ‘Prayer Post’ Feature
By Movieguide® Staff
Public Religion Research Institute Founder and CEO recently shared a screenshot on Twitter of an unexpected new feature on Facebook.
“Wondering what fb algorithm thinks it knows about me?” Robert P. Jones captioned a photo of a Facebook notification that read “Introducing prayer posts.”
The description of the new feature reads: “You may enable group members to ask for and respond prayers in a post. You can manage Prayer Request post and who can create them in Group settings.”
So I just had this “Introducing Prayer Posts” pop up as a new fb feature on my profile. Anyone else seeing this? Wondering what fb algorithm thinks it knows about me? pic.twitter.com/TnP1reKDGR
— Robert P. Jones (@robertpjones) April 14, 2021
Religion News Service reported that a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the social media giant is currently testing the prayer feature with selected accounts.
During the pandemic, one of the main ways the church maintained fellowship was through Facebook and other social media.
“Our mission to give people the power to build community extends to the world’s largest community; the faith community,” Nona Jones, head of Global Faith Partnerships at Facebook, told RNS.
“As a local church pastor with my husband, I know very well how disruptive the last year has been for people of faith and the houses of worship that serve them,” Jones added. “This is why we are committed to finding ways to build the tools that help people connect to hope on Facebook.”
According to RNS, Facebook witnessed an increase in live video calls, private messages, and live broadcasts from religious accounts during Easter in 2020. With the new prayer feature, Facebook looks to better tap into one of the largest markets in the U.S., churchgoers.
The new feature could be a potential bright spot for Facebook. The company has lost users due to its censorship of conservative Christian users and its ban of former President Donald Trump in January.