Facebook is more than just a place for finding cat videos and political rants. Starting this week, the social network is expanding its “weather greetings” updates into fully developed forecasts.
According to TechCrunch, the new feature is now accessible through News Feed on the desktop site and through the “More” menu on the Facebook app. Users will see a typical forecast powered by Weather.com. It includes highs and lows, current conditions, hourly forecasts, and forecasts for the week. Situated above that information is a playful header that varies based on the weather. Rain might bring up a cartoon deer ducked under a tree, while overcast weather displays a bird poking out from a bush beneath a partly cloudy sky. The forecast defaults to the user’s current location while giving them the option to add more places to follow (though it doesn’t let users swipe through them like some other apps do).
Facebook started experimenting with placing casual weather updates at the top of News Feed last year, but this is their first serious attempt to compete with established weather apps. The launch is one of several recent moves from the website to branch outside the social media bubble. In September, Facebook announced plans to make it easier for customers to purchase products from businesses within Messenger. Not long after that, the site rolled out job-recruiting features that put them in direct competition with services like Monster and LinkedIn.