Facebook has begun testing new, personalized language for the question it asks users in their otherwise blank status bars at the top of the website, including “How’s it going?” and “How are you feeling?” followed by the user’s first name as listed on their account.
As a Facebook spokesperson told TPM: “We’re testing variations of prompts to see how people will like them.”
Facebook declined to answer questions about how many users would be included the tests, over what geographic regions, and how long the tests would last. The company also declined to provide any further information on what social cues, if any, it uses to serve up new prompt questions.
Here are some of the new personalized Facebook status prompt questions this reporter observed:
The variation in Facebook status prompts was noticed last week by some users around the globe, including U.S.-based journalist Jake Adelstein on the blog Japan Subculture Research Center, who pointed out at least three different new personalized prompts appearing for him: “How’s it going, Jake?” “What’s happening, Jake” “What’s up, Jake?”
Other users, including this reporter, have observed more questions, including:
“How are you feeling, [username]? and “How are you doing, [username]?”
Before that, Facebook’s status prompt read: “What are you doing right now?” and prior to that, from the time Facebook launched the feature, the status prompt also contained the personalized username and the word “is,” although the “is” was dropped in 2007.
Facebook also deviated from its generic “What’s on your mind?” status prompt for holidays in 2012, asking Halloween-themed questions in late October and later in December offered holiday-themed language for administrators of Facebook Pages (those accounts used by businesses, organizations and celebrities).
But the new statuses appear to be the most personalized used by the world’s largest social network yet.