Facebook is actively rolling out a new feature for its Messenger app that provides recipients with more information about who is contacting them. This, in turn, will help users determine if the person reaching out is an old friend / someone they may have recently met or a spammer that’s not worth their time.
The service is described by Facebook Vice President of Messaging David Marcus as caller ID for messaging.
Messages coming from someone that you’ve never chatted with before through the platform will include a larger photo of the sender as well as other public details about them such as where they live or where they work. These details will surface regardless of whether or not you are friends with the sender.
Why would you need detailed information about someone you are already friends with? According to a Pew Research study from last year, the average adult has 338 Facebook friends. Let’s be real with ourselves – hardly any of us know 338 people we consider friends. Odds are, some of those people on your friends list were acquaintances at best, old business relationships, or heck, maybe even accidental adds.
It’s worth point out that the new caller ID feature doesn’t circumvent privacy controls. This means that if the person contacting you hasn’t shared any public information on Facebook, then you won’t receive any via Messenger.
The feature works on both Android and iOS and is rolling out to users in the US, the UK, France and India.