TIME relationships

Facebook’s New ‘Ask’ Button Gives You a Whole New Way to Badger Friends About Their Relationship Status

Online Dating
Getty Images

Finally—a subtle way to substantiate those divorce rumors!

Particularly observant Facebook stalkers might have noticed a brand new feature this weekend that gives them a whole new way to badger their friends, lovers, and ish acquaintances.

Say hello to the “Ask” button, an inquisitive new tool that pops up next to your friends’ undisclosed relationship statuses, work affiliations, hometowns—anything they left blank in their “About” section. (Finally, a subtle way to substantiate those divorce rumors!)

As coupledom is only real if it’s Facebook offish, I decided to see what happens when I sent an “Ask” inquiry regarding my boyfriend’s empty relationship status to test out the new feature:Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 11.26.07 AM

Ask requests can’t be done anonymously. Ever-inquisitive Facebook requires you leave a note justifying your prying nature. Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 11.26.33 AM

This is the message he received — the status can exist for our eyes only, which kind of seems to miss the point of relationship statuses, but whatever:


(My request was denied because, well, we aren’t in middle school and thus aren’t required by middle school law to report our relationship to social media.)

A Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Dot that there’s no way to prevent the “Ask” button from showing up, which is incredibly annoying for obvious reasons. People share what they’re comfortable sharing. All the button does is enable nagging from people who aren’t close enough with you to know where you went to college, if you’re single, or whether you were spared in the last round of company layoffs.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team