Facebook adds ‘came out’ life event feature to mark National Coming Out Day

In honour of National Coming Out Day, Facebook has unveiled a ‘came out’ life event feature.

The social media giant has added a function that allows people to make a life event notification for when they came out, similar to graduating, getting a job or getting married.

It will then appear on the person’s life timeline, accompanied by a rainbow flag.

People are using the feature to add the time they come out, while some are setting it to ‘today’ and using the function to come out themselves.

Speaking to NBC Out, Facebook VP Tudor Havriliuc said: “We’re excited to give more people the opportunity to ‘come out’ on Facebook.

“For National Coming Out Day, we hope people will share their coming out story and use the hashtag #ComingOutToShare to follow along with the wider community.”

Havriliuc added: “For the LGBTQ community, Facebook is a way for you to come out, celebrate your pride and find support.

“Visibility is so important because it changes hearts and minds about being LGBTQ when friends and family see us living our true lives.”

The setting, which is already rolling out to users, is expected to be permanent.

Of course, many people have come out on Facebook over the years without the dedicated function. It was previously possible to create a custom life event for the status.

Facebook has experimented with many LGBT+ features over the years.

In 2017 it unveiled a rainbow Pride reaction option, alongside the standard like, love, sad, haha, wow and angry buttons.

The feature was temporarily rolled out for Pride month in June 2017 and extended for local Pride events.

However, some people used the feature to troll opponents of LGBT rights, by responding to all their posts with Pride reactions.

It did not return in 2018.

Instead, the company rolled out rainbow stickers, filters and camera effects to users on Facebook and Instagram for Pride month.

The features were later extended year-round.

“The LGBTQ community has always been a celebrated part of Facebook,” said Alex Schultz, vice president of growth at Facebook at the time.

“We know representation and having a community matters — whether that be LGBTQ people sharing photos that can change hearts and minds, or using our products, like Facebook Groups, to find a supportive network.

“We know that people in the LGBTQ community are supporting one another worldwide and year-round, which is why we’re making all of these effects available throughout the year.”