You can now be friends with the Federal Reserve on Facebook

Your next Facebook friend?
Your next Facebook friend?
Image: Reuters/Carlos Barria
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Facebook already has 1.7 billion active users but today it gained an influential new friend. The Federal Reserve has joined the 21st century and created a Facebook page where it will share “press releases, speeches, testimony, reports, educational materials, frequently asked questions, photos, and videos.” Everything you’ve been waiting for, right?

The New York Fed already has a Facebook page with more than 13,000 likes and it shares data releases and live streams press briefings. While this will give financial journalists and traders an excuse to spend even more time on social media, the Fed says its aim is to increase the availability of central bank news and educational material.

Central banks are often criticized for not communicating their plans well enough to both the finance industry and the general public. The Federal Reserve is currently in a will-they-won’t-they saga with markets about the next time they will raise interest rates. They raised rates from a record low in December and have held back on doing so again amid an uncertain outlook for the global economy. Despite the Facebook page, investors are more likely to get guidance on monetary policy from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Aug. 26 in a speech at the annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The Fed has already added three posts to its Facebook page. But if that’s not enough you can find the central bank on Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Flickr (?!) as well.