Facebook Add Almost 200 Flags to Profile Frames

USA Science News
Showing your national pride on Facebook has never been easier. In an update to the 'Profile Frames' feature - the best feature you've never heard of - they added almost 200 different national flags. Rather than translucently covering the entire profile picture, or appearing in a banner along the bottom, these flags appear in the top left corner.

There isn't really another layer to this. Usually when you add a frame to your profile picture, you're doing it to show solidarity with something, or someone, or just make a point. You could be supporting a sports team, registering your awareness of a recent calamity, or just expressing your excitement for an upcoming film. In this case, you're just telling people where you're from.

To use them, you have to go to the super secret Profile Frames page on the desktop version. The first thing you'll see will probably be frames related to your location and the pages you follow. All you have to do is search for your home nation (or whichever one you want) in the top nav bar and voila, you have nationalised your Facebook profile. The search criteria aren't quite on point yet so it might take you a while to find the flag you want, depending on the name of the country. When I searched 'United Kingdom' a few different things came up. 'Turkmenistan', however, was the only returned result.

If you recall, Facebook did introduce a kind of location-tagged frame feature for the in-app camera at the tail end of last year, but that's a much more sophisticated feature, and reports suggest that they're still tinkering with it. In a sense, this is acting as a kind of placeholder for it until it's properly ready. Oh, and they stole the location-tagged frame idea from Snapchat. I feel obliged to mention it every time they do that now.

It's interesting to wonder exactly why Facebook are so keen on users banding their national identity around. Facebook is a global state, or at least it thinks it is, so on their terms, talking about your home nation is like talking about your hair colour or blood type. In Facebook's eyes, the community is a kind of rainbow coalition, rather than millions of people who signed up to track down their old school friends and found themselves unable to quit.

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