Facebook attempts to foresee the future with its new Forecast app

Facebook, in its latest venture, is attempting to unveil the future through an app. With the help of Forecast app, community members can post questions and have verified experts answer them. These experts are invite-only and are background checked by Facebook. After the questions have been answered, the community can vote their thoughts on the answers which they think are more likely to come true. Whether this app is designed to provide any form of practical guidance is, ironically, unclear.

This app is only available for iOS although there have been no announcements for an Android version.

The primary initiative of Forecast started on Tuesday with academics and health experts predicting and explaining the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. This idea by Facebook is essential in these times of uncertainty but the real cause for concern is the fact that people can vote on the answers. This might increase misconceptions and spread misinformation for which Facebook is already infamous for, and the voting feature might only reinforce existing beliefs about societal misconceptions. The app has more and more questions as you scroll down the pages, topics ranging from health to world events to Netflix shows.

Forecast, an iOS app, and a public website is a community-centered platform around crowdsourced predictions. Members of the community can pose questions about the future, make predictions of what might happen, and discuss and distill their knowledge into a single forecast. In the Forecast announce video, the NPE team said that Forecast is a community meant for crowdsourcing predictions which are built to harness the power of collective insights.

A major query that Facebook wants to be answered is whether the use of the Forecast app will help spread awareness and further the public's knowledge of Coronavirus and how it will help to flatten the curve? Again, in the Forecast announce video it was stated that it will help by furthering knowledge of COVID-19 and its impact on the world for all the users of Facebook.

The video further explained that the forum members can browse questions and suggest their own, make forecasts, and share them with the world.

This app is a fun and intuitive way for people to discover new interests and find people with similar thinking to them. That being said, Facebook should implement a strict anti-obscenity policy to prevent the formation of unwelcome groups or communities. People can explore answers and gain information about new technology or things in the past.

This app cannot be taken as a practical guide for real-life ventures due to the voting feature. This app can be accurately described as an experiment to see if the community or society is well-informed about present-day matters. Or to study what type of mindset is prevalent on region-specific issues. It is unclear as to the purpose of this app and what Facebook wants to achieve by launching this app as they will, without a doubt, gather and compile the data from the various polls that will be launched on this app. Although the reliability of this app is in question, it seems like an interesting and unique idea that will develop as time passes, and like the idea of these apps will normalize. Studies will undoubtedly be conducted on these apps and the results are sure to be interesting.

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