Facebook is testing a new contextual cards feature on its iOS app where you will see contextual cards pop up after you post an update. This feature is rolled out to a small subset of iOS users while it is being tested.
These information cards look similar to the Google Now cards or the cards that appear in Foursquare.
If you post a status update about a particular place, or a Hotel or a Park, you might see cards pop up – the information on the cards could be your friends’ status updates about the same place, or photos of you with your friends taken in the same place, or the current, timely update from your friends who are currently at that place.
The contextual cards feature is an advanced extension of Graph search.
With this new feature, Facebook could successfully stop those people who simply come to Facebook to post a status update and then leave. Now with the appearance of contextual cards, users are being suggested what to look next, in a contextual manner – hopefully to match with their current mood.
This might stop users from leaving Facebook immediately after posting an update and might encourage and inspire additional interactions.
The cards are color coded – Yellow for photos, Red for places, Blue for birthdays and Green for content.
The contextual cards feature is naturally an extension of all the various contextual stuff you are used to seeing on the internet – like, Similar To page suggestions by Facebook, Related content suggestions on blogs (after you read a post), and even Google’s related searches.
The concept of “contextual” is gaining more importance everyday on the web and Facebook cards is a nice move in this direction.
And, there’s room for Facebook to make money via the cards. Businesses might pay to get their updates or pages featured/suggested in a few slots of the contextual cards. While this feature is not currently in play, I’m guessing it might be rolled out soon too.
Would you like these contextual cards popping up after you post an update? Would you find them useful, and would you prefer to stay and continue interactions on Facebook? Or will you find them annoying and sort of interfering with your Facebook usage?
Let’s wait and find out!