With Forecast, Facebook wants to predict the future. The iOS app, which is only for experts and academics, will collect opinions on issues around a specific topic in order to spot a trend. For now, the app will only ask questions regarding COVID-19.
With this application, Facebook hopes to one day play on the… Nostradamus flower beds. The social network founded by Mark Zuckerberg has just launched Forecast, a fairly special iOS application intended to predict the future. Just that. For this, the application offers multiple choice questionnaires, which will be based on current events, to experts and academics. For the moment, most of these questions concern the new coronavirus. One of them, for example, asked the question, “When will most US residents be treated with a COVID-19 vaccine?” The answers then make it possible to give a prediction on a given question. The social network also clarified that the questions will gradually be extended to a plethora of subjects, and not only to COVID-19.
At this time, this app is only available by invitation for healthcare professionals and some academics, in the U.S. and Canada only. Predictions based on responses from early adopters are, however, available directly on the Forecast website. It remains to be seen whether this tool, presenting itself more or less as an opinion study, will indeed have the expected impact. Above all, Facebook will have to be cautious on sensitive subjects, such as that of the coronavirus, with this aspect of survey. This is all the more true since the firm has long faced virulent criticism regarding its management of the fallacious information circulating on its platform, and this all the more during the health crisis. If, for the moment, the answers are reserved for experts and academics, nothing tells us that the firm does not intend to allow the general public to seize it.