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Facebook develops a tool to share prayers and prayers on the social network


Mark Zuckerberg wants to encourage interaction on Facebook and that is why he has focused on a very personal area: religion. In recent weeks he has started asking for prayers and prayers in a new tool that, for now, is only available on Facebook groups in the United States.

Thus, Facebook wants to reach out to the religious community to encourage the commitment of its users. As early as 2017, Zuckerberg, its CEO, and founder cited churches as an example when it came to creating connections.

According to an interview with the head of the religious collaborations unit of the social network, Nona Jones, COVID-19 was the trigger to launch this tool: users did not stop asking for prayers and prayers for each other as a result of the disease +

Summit with religious leaders

The company held its first virtual summit with religious leaders last month via Facebook Live, where it discussed a future in which believers and ministers of their religions could relate to each other through augmented reality tools.

Since its widespread launch in late May, people have started asking for prayers for family members who are sick with COVID-19, people who have recently left their partners or for driving tests.

Obviously, these publications are used by Facebook for the personalization of ads on its platform: according to a spokesperson, this data can be used by the algorithm of the social network that decides the ads it shows to users.

"One of the biggest communities using Facebook is people of faith," said Facebook app director Fidji Simo. "When I looked at the data of users who used the network the most during the pandemic, we saw a great growth in the spiritual category, " he explained.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Facebook sent basic equipment such as mobile tripods to some groups of religious confessions to be able to broadcast their masses and rituals live while the places of worship were closed.

Reactions have been mixed, with some communities assessing the role of the social network during confinement, and other groups denouncing their concern for the privacy of their publications.

"Every time Facebook develops something new, you know that it is because they want to make money with it ... to, in the end, sell you something, in some way," denounces a member of a group of Catholic women.

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