Facebook, in an apparent effort to fulfill dreams of becoming the creepiest social networking site, announced today that members of a group will now be able to see who has read their posts to that group. While this feature won’t be on your newsfeed–not yet, anyway–it will make it infinitely more difficult to quietly ignore boring group posts. It’ll also set you up for slight embarrassment when people realize you read every single group post the minute it goes up.
Here’s how it works: After one person has read a post to a group page, a checkmark appears. When users scroll over the checkmark, they can see who has read each post. Awkwardly, it will also show what time each group member read each post and will announce when everyone has read the update. So post goes up at 3:40 p.m., you read the post at 3:40 p.m., and now everybody knows that all you do all day is refresh your Facebook page.
This feature is one in a long line of eerie new additions. In May, Facebook added read receipts and location information to their messaging app, so users could see not only whether their friends read their messages, but also see where their friends were when the message was read. If you are a stalker, this could be very useful. If you have a stalker, this could be a bit of a nuisance.
Late last month, Facebook pulled a somewhat alarming new feature called “New Friends Nearby,” which used similar location technology and allowed users to add friends in their vicinity. (And let’s not forget Facebook’s slightly too sophisticated facial recognition software for photo tagging.)
The question we should really be asking: Why does Zuckerberg always want to know where his friends are?