Facebook introduces a new location-based feature, Nearby Friends

Recently, Facebook has been on a roll with the purchase of Oculus Rift, adding free Wi-Fi calling to Messenger, and its plans to remove chat in favor of Messenger. Over the next couple of weeks, Facebook will start rolling out a new feature, Nearby Friends, which allows users to broadcast their current location to friends nearby. While it’s currently possible to share a location, this method doesn’t allow Facebook users to organically share their location with nearby friends or show their precise location for possible meetings.

Nearby Friends changes this by letting users share their location, which will automatically notify friends if they are in the same surrounding area. The new feature is optional and can be turned on and off. Facebook has also embedded privacy features by allowing the broadcast to only reach friends, close friends, or a specific list of friends. Nearby Friends will also only work if friends have this option enabled and are sharing their location with each other. Nearby Friends users will also have the option to show a more precise location to particular friends. This can be set for a specific time period and will allow friends to locate you for a casual meeting or rendezvous.

While this new feature has pushed the boundary of privacy a bit further, applications like 'Cloak', are pushing the opposite by providing users with controlled anonymity. 

Nearby Friends will be available on iOS and Android within the next couple week in the United States. There is not word yet on a global release. 

Source: Facebook | Image via Facebook 

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20 Comments

Prepare for the wave of whining and complaining about a feature that is completely optional on a service you have no obligation to use.

Except for the fact Facebook will probably sneak this in under the radar, turn it on by default, and make it difficult to opt out.

But hey, I didn't pay for the service, why should I complain? :rolleyes:

You make a good point. Why should you complain? Just turn it off. Of course they'll put it on by default. If they turned off every new feature by default no one would ever use the new features.

I'm not complaining because I don't use* the service.

And I don't find it unreasonable for a company to introduce a new feature and have it off by default. Education of your users is quite important.

Microsoft learnt the hard way in that lesson.

Imagine the trouble this feature could cause. Not only would it make you think someone who lives/works in the same general areas you do is a stalker, but it more importantly tells people where you are not.

No one said it takes any effort. The problem isn't with the effort, the problem resides in the potential for personal problems/harm the service could reside in. Thus, why does it even exist in the first place?

If you want to know where people are, ask. If they respond, they want you to know. Problem solved.

Are you a FB fanboy or worked on this app that makes you want to defend it?

Rohdekill said,
No one said it takes any effort. The problem isn't with the effort, the problem resides in the potential for personal problems/harm the service could reside in. Thus, why does it even exist in the first place?

If you want to know where people are, ask. If they respond, they want you to know. Problem solved.

Are you a FB fanboy or worked on this app that makes you want to defend it?


If you turn this feature off, no one will be able to stalk. As a matter of fact, is it confirmed that it is ON by default?

I'm neither praising nor defending it. Is it so hard for you to understand that whatever be the problems you think this may cause, the feature's completely optional? Now if it is thrust onto everyone without any choice I can understand, but why complain about it if it's not even on by default and you can turn it on or off any time you want? Are you saying that if you turn it on and have a problem with it it's not your responsibility at all? You don't need to be a fanboy or hate FB to have some perspective. Matter of fact, who's forcing you to be on FB in the first place?

Edited by Romero, Apr 20 2014, 6:21pm :

Oh good, I just woke up from a night terror that Facebook didn't know enough about everything I do.

I shall go back to bed, and let Facebook tell everyone I know good night.

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