Facebook Aadhaar

Visitors pose in front of the Facebook headquarters sign Nov. 1, 2017 in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook is asking new users in India to use their names as they appear on their Aadhaar cards. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — Facebook has begun testing a feature with a set of new users in India where they are being asked to enter names as per their Aadhaar details.

The social media giant, however, is not asking new users to give their Aadhaar number but just the name as written on their Aadhaar cards.

"This is a small test where we provide additional language when people sign up for an account to say that using the name on their Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognize them," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement Dec. 27.

Currently, only a small percentage of people who use Facebook on mobile devices in India are able to see this feature.

"This is an optional prompt which we are testing," the spokesperson added.

The move is aimed at encouraging users to put their real names as they enter the social network for the first time.

"We want to make sure people can use the names they're known by on Facebook, and can easily connect with friends and family," Facebook said.

Facebook has over 217 million monthly active users in India and 212 million of them are active on smartphones.

It has 2.1 billion monthly active users globally.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India.

The Facebook test comes at a time when the government is asking citizens to link Aadhaar details with their digital lives.

The government recently extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN, mobile numbers and several other schemes to March 31, 2018.

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