Facebook Forecast app can predict the future

Speculation on everything from COVID-19 to celebrity baby names is all in one app

Facebook's NPE team is launching a new app built around what it’s calling crowdsourced predictions.

The iOS app, which Facebook named Forecast, will allow users to ask questions and use in-app points to vote on existing questions in the app. Users can also discuss the questions they find interesting.

As of now, the app allows only invited participants in the US and Canada to make predictions and discuss them, though they will be available for the public to read and share from the Forecast website

Early predictions on the site range from the serious, “Will the FDA approve a vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of March 2021?,” to Will locusts be considered a world plague by October 21?” 

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Questions posed on the app will be reviewed and edited for clarity as needed by Forecast personnel. When the prediction is cleared to go live, the user will get a notification. Eventually, after voting has died off or a deadline has passed, Forecast will deem the prediction closed.

The app is available in the iOS app store as “Forecast: Prediction Market.” The website states: “To join the community, please request access to the Forecast Beta Testers Facebook group and download the app.”

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If you download the app and try to open it right now, you’ll get a message that says: “Looks like you are not a member of our invite-only beta test group. Please join our waitlist!”

The predictions on Forecast provide little to no information beyond the questions themselves and there are no guarantees that the people voting have any expertise in the given subject. This is a bold move for a company that’s been on the hot seat for allowing misinformation to run rampant on its primary website.

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