Facebook's NPE Team is launching a new app called Forecast. The company says that the project is a "community for crowdsourced predictions and collective insights," and for now, only invited beta members can view predictions and pose questions about the future.
So, what exactly is the Forecast app?
Its goal is to deliver crowdsourced wisdom to those eager to know what the world might look ahead. Facebook believes that the app will produce healthier online discussions across a wide range of topics. For example, the social network is encouraging people in academic, research, and health communities to make educated guesses about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact in the future.
In a way, Forecast will make end results out of hypotheses. It will allow users to make predictions and explain their reason behind it. But instead of testing the hypothesis, the app will use votes to track the viability of a question or topic, rating it depending on the votes it gets.
Facebook has assigned a team to moderate all the questions from users. And because the platform using a points system, users will be able to visit each other's profiles, follow them, and receive notifications about new activities and whatnots. There is a leaderboard for individual topics, which is reserved presumably to users whose posts are the most thought-provoking.
Questions can't mention violent or sexual assault of any individual, including public figures, or death. The Forecast app also prohibits the use of hate speech. Questions that ask for personal information or about illegal content are also not allowed. All the rest of the guidelines are detailed here.
As of this writing, Facebook Forecast is only available to iOS users in the U.S. and Canada. The platform will be available for the public via the Forecast website on the web. If you're interested, you can sign-up and join the pool of waitlisters. Facebook has not disclosed a date for when the app will be made available for all its users and says some features are still being polished.
"As with most things the NPE team releases, this project is in its very early stages. We're still working to polish the experience and to understand the quality and value of the forecasts themselves," says Rebecca Kossnick, product lead at Facebook Forecast. "As all forecasts and conversations are public, we invite you to help us understand how to improve them.
The Forecast app is live on the iOS App Store.