In 2013, Facebook was collaborating with researchers on a major campaign to encourage its users to get flu shots, but scrapped the plan for unknown reasons in 2014 after months of work had been done, according to a person with direct knowledge.


The idea was to pick a public health issue to determine whether targeting users on a social messaging on a site like Facebook could change behavior. It would've been a big first step for the social networking giant into the $3 trillion health sector.


Among the ideas floated were a Facebook page to provide information about flu vaccines, a badge for users to share that they'd been vaccinated and new forums for people to share testimonials, according to project proposals viewed by CNBC.


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