Facebook has introduced a new prayer tool

In recent weeks, Facebook has begun asking users for prayers through a new tool available for Facebook Groups in the United States.

image by Reuters

According to reports, the prayer feature is Facebook’s most recent outreach to the religious community, which they see as a vital community for driving engagement on the platform.

Nona Jones, Facebook’s head of faith partnerships, told Reuters in an interview that the prayer product was created after the company noticed an increase in people asking for prayers during the pandemic. Last month, the company held its first virtual faith summit with religious leaders due to its outreach.

Facebook made its prayer tool, which had been tested with faith communities, available to all U.S. Facebook groups at the end of May. Jones confirms that the prayer posts, like other content on Facebook, are used to personalize ads.

“People of faith are one of the largest communities using Facebook products to connect,” said outgoing Facebook app head Fidji Simo. “When I looked at the data of what was exploding during the pandemic, I saw massive growth in the spiritual category.”

Because places of worship were closed due to the pandemic, Facebook sent out “starter kits” of equipment such as small tripods and phone holders to faith groups early on. It then launched a faith resource website with e-learning courses, letting people know that houses of worship can be reached through the Facebook platform. This year, it established an Interfaith Advisory Council to meet regularly with faith leaders and educators.

Source: Reuters

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