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Facebook is testing a feature for mentorships between users

Facebook is testing a feature for mentorships between users
From TechCrunch - September 11, 2017

Earlier this year, Facebook signalled a plan to move into LinkedIns territory with the launch of job advertising. Now it appears to be taking another step to help develop the professional you. TechCrunch has learned that Facebook is testing a way to use its social network to link up users who are looking for mentorships, either as mentors or mentees.

Our first look at the mentoring service came from a source, who had found a couple of references to mentoring in Facebooks code. They appear to be fragments from a set of guidelines for mentors, introducing them to the program:

Later, we found that another person spottedan internal run of how the feature would look on the mobile app. It appears that the app matches a mentees interests up with those of the mentors, and by way of introduction, gives them a list of points they have in common, including friends, education, geographic location andmost importantlyprofession:

Working on a mentorship service would be a logical step for Facebook for a few reasons.

The first has to do with its leaders ambitions.

In May, Facebooks CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post about his plan this year to visit every state in the U.S. where had yet to spend much time, in particular meeting with different groups that highlighted persistent social issues in the US (and no, Zuckerberg insists hes not interested in running for political office).In that post, he noted ways that he thought Facebook could help people improve their lot in life.

One area he honed in on in particular: By leveraging the size of the social network, Facebook could facilitate mentoring relationships to help people raise their job prospects. Zuckerberg also noted that he was starting to build this with teams at Facebook.

Facebook has been focused on helping you connect with people you already know, he wrote. Weve built AI systems to recommend People You May Know. But it might be just as important to also connect you with people you should knowmentors and people outside your circle who care about you and can provide a new source of support and inspiration.

There are a number of models for how this might work. The Peace Corps creates service opportunities where people exchange culture and build new relationships. Perhaps we could build a new digital peace corps. Another model is Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, where people who have struggled with these challenges and overcome them go on to become mentors for others, with the hope of training them to one day become mentors themselves. This is something Ive only recently started studying and working with our teams at Facebook to build.

The second reason this makes sense has to do with Facebooks development of career services.

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