Facebook is testing out a profile completion bar in its About section of user profiles, echoing other social networks like LinkedIn and Google+.
Along with the profile completion percentage, they are also asking that users provide their current city in the info section under their profile picture in the hopes of encouraging users to add more information about themselves.
This information will help Facebook to improve the targeting options for the company’s advertisers. Some users are seeing the new completion percentage bar appear in the top right corner of the About tab on their Timeline. Each detail filled out, whether it is the user’s birthday, gender, religion, political preference, language, interest, or even contact information, is given a certain amount of percentage points.
Along with helping users be more informed about each other, the Facebook profile completion bar will allow advertisers to garner more personal data about the social network’s users, so that they can specifically target ads to them based on their location, demographics, and age.
Facebook has already made other changes this month, including launching a feature that acts like Pinterest. It allows users to “want” products. These two pushers are indicators that Facebook is likely looking to drive advertising on its site toward more specific audiences.
While the new Facebook profile completion bar could help users who’ve probably never completed all the information in their About section (unless you’ve been on the site since it first started in 2004), it does have a flaw. The feature doesn’t appear to provide users any guide on which areas they should fill in to complete their profile, although this could change.
Currently, the only prompt for the Facebook profile completion bar is for users who do not list a current city in their profile. For these users, Facebook suggests a current city from the user’s IP address, listed place of work, recent check-ins, or if they post geo-tags.