Facebook’s rainbow filter was ‘dreamed up by interns’

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

The popular feature that allowed Facebook users to show their pride through a rainbow profile filter was designed by two interns and developed in just two days.

In honour of this month’s Pride celebrations and the US Supreme Court’s verdict on same-sex marriage, the social network unveiled a tool that allows users to show their support for LGBT people by superimposing a rainbow flag over their profile pictures.

More than 26 million Facebook users have applied a rainbow filter to their profile picture – with countless brands, politicians and celebrities also taking part, gathering over 500,000,000 comments.

The move sparked fears from right-wingers that it was a “pschological test” – but Facebook dev Alex Schultz has revealed that the feature was actually designed and built by two interns.

He explained: “We built this tool for exactly one reason: to give people a quick way to join us in celebrating Pride this past weekend.

“It started with two ‪amazing interns at a Hackathon at Facebook last week, Austin and Scott.

“They came up with the idea of a rainbow filter, and an awesome team of pm (Tony), engineers (Yuankaii, Derrick, Omid) , designers (Evan), and other people from across the company too numerous to mention to get it out.

“It only took two days, and it was an awesome coincidence that it was ready the same day the US Supreme Court legalized marriage equality.

He continued: “We haven’t experimented with anything, and other than counting how people used it, we aren’t using the data for anything else: Your experience on Facebook isn’t any different whether you’ve used the tool or not, and that won’t change.

“We all know that we have a long way to go toward the promise of full equality in the U.S and around the world for so many. But it’s gratifying to play a small part in helping people celebrate this milestone this past weekend.”

Referring to controversy over the site’s ‘real name’ policy, he said: “We still are _clearly_ not perfect and have more work to do for the LGBTQ+ community… [but] I am proud that Facebook as a company is willing to support work like this and is able to move really fast to get from a cool intern project to an amazing product used by 10MM’s of people in just a few days.”