Facebook has begun testing a new feature in its iOS app that pops up relevant information when you check in or attach a song, TV show, movie, or friend to a status update. If you check in at a Cafe Grumpy, for example, Facebook might show friends who have also been there, photos of some lattes, or photos of you and the friends you've checked in with. If you post that you're listening to a song or watching Breaking Bad, Facebook might show friends who have recently done the same.
"These cards can help you discover information about where you are or what to do next."
"These cards can help you discover information about where you are or what to do next, or inspire conversations with your friends around you," said a Facebook spokesperson. The feature draws heavily from Foursquare, which has for some time popped up information about your current location once you've checked in. The feature also feels a bit like Google Now, which hopes to surface nearby photos and relevant information when you open it up. Facebook's implementation, however, focuses on friends and starting conversations about Facebook content, like photos of the last time you and a friend hung out.
In Facebook's new info cards, birthdays are themed blue, locations are red, and photos are yellow. The sleek, colorful cards are a refreshing new look for the service, where posts, buttons, and icons are often just one shade of blue or another. The cards also neatly wrap up and surface some of the content you might not have realized you could search for using the company's Graph Search product, like "Photos by friends at Yosemite National Park." If Facebook follows Foursquare's lead, it might even consider sticking ads related to your check-in inside the space. But for now, the cards are only tests. If they see high engagement, it's very likely that Facebook will roll them out more broadly.