Facebook will soon be asking for users’ health information

3 Oct 2014

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Social network Facebook will begin letting users add information about their health to their profiles to help create online communities that support sufferers of various ailments.

That’s according to Reuters, which reports sources who say Facebook is also considering new ‘preventative care’ apps that would help people improve their health and lifestyle.

Meetings with medical industry experts have reportedly taken place and Facebook is in the process of establishing a research and development team to work on new health apps.

According to one Reuters source, users with chronic ailments, such as diabetes, will often search the site for information and advice on their condition.

Facebook has not yet commented on the reports. However, the company has announced changes to the way it conducts research, following criticism of a paper it published on users’ emotional responses to posts.

A 2011 report that suggested Facebook users experienced negative thoughts and feelings when they saw positive posts from friends prompted the paper. In a statement, the firm’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, admitted Facebook had made mistakes in its own review, and promised a more robust research process in future.

Facebook on mobile image via Shutterstock

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com