Facebook is beta-testing an app to assist recently released convicts in trying to integrate into society. The website, dubbed the Re-Entry app, seems to be part of Facebook’s attempts to produce more products for marginalized people.
According to Bloomberg, the new social media platform The Re-Entry App appeared at the top of numerous users’ Instagram feeds on Wednesday. “Preparing for life after prison with community support,” read the notification, which invited users to try out the software and provide inputs.
While detained, inmates are prohibited from using any kind of social media site. They are permitted to send emails to people outside the prison.
Some states, such as Alabama and Iowa, restrict the right of third parties, such as friends and family, to post on behalf of inmates.
“We’ve been exploring different ways to help close gaps faced by those in marginalized communities across our apps,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement to Insider. “This was only intended to be an internal test and we took down the notice as soon as we learned it briefly ran externally.”
Last June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he wanted Facebook to start “building products to advance racial justice.” FB-owned Instagram, meanwhile, created an Equity team last year with the aim of building “new features that respond to the needs of underserved communities.”
An app for ex-prisoners is likely to spark debate, but Facebook is known for experimenting with innovative concepts that either never make it to the final product stage or end up being radically different from the original design.