Facebook removes "Find Friends Nearby" feature

As quickly and as quietly as it was introduced, Facebook has now taken down its new "Find Friends Nearby" feature. News.com reports that Facebook removed the feature earlier today. A Facebook spokesperson would not comment on the move.

Facebook added the new feature, which was originally to be called Friendshake, this past weekend for both the web and mobile versions of the service. It allowed people to find their Facebook friends, or any possible future friends, if they happen to be nearly their location. Since it was introduced, many people were concerned that this feature could be used by some malicious users to locate people that they didn't really know.

Meanwhile, another company has accused Facebook of stealing their idea for Find Friends Nearby. Charles Sankowich, the CEO of the company Friendthem, said they had the idea before Facebook. Sankowich told News.com, "Facebook engineer Ryan Patterson claims the feature was born at a hackathon as 'Friendshake,' but we believe they simply stole trademarked materials of Friendthem.com."

Sankowich also claimed he discussed his company and their products with an unnamed Facebook executive in February.

Source: News.com

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22 Comments

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"Meanwhile, another company has accused Facebook of stealing their idea for Find Friends Nearby."

How innovative. I'd have never thought of displaying people by proximity. In fact I've never seen such a feature implemented on any other website. These people are officially geniuses.

theyarecomingforyou said,
"Meanwhile, another company has accused Facebook of stealing their idea for Find Friends Nearby."

How innovative. I'd have never thought of displaying people by proximity. In fact I've never seen such a feature implemented on any other website. These people are officially geniuses.

Yeah, I was annoyed when I heard this too... Just an excuse for attention I think. MySpace had that feature for a long while too, sorting by how many miles away and all. /shrug

Rappy said,
I am pleased they have!

Same here. I honestly don't see how this feature could even be useful... If you want to be someone's "friend" surely you can exchange information. LOL

Well, I'm not happy. I don't like when features are removed because people like you guys like to moan and complain about things that don't concern you - it's not even in your face, so you can easily ignore it. And just because you don't know how a feature could be useful, also doesn't mean it should be removed.

GreatMarkO said,
This was hardly a new concept though - Google Latitude has been doing this for years!

Didn't myspace have that too? ...and dating websites.

rippleman said,
Privacy is a myth. It a comfort word that makes you feel good, when in reality, you don't have any .

Actually you do. Just don't go to the Find Friends Nearby page and NOTHING has changed.

andrewbares said,

Actually you do. Just don't go to the Find Friends Nearby page and NOTHING has changed.


but then again, people who did use FFN would be able to see where you are (: not saying it's an invasion of privacy or anything, just saying that (as far as I understand FFN, which admittedly is not a lot) "don't visit the page" isn't a solution.

Matthew_Thepc said,

but then again, people who did use FFN would be able to see where you are (: not saying it's an invasion of privacy or anything, just saying that (as far as I understand FFN, which admittedly is not a lot) "don't visit the page" isn't a solution.

They only see you if you're on the page. So nope it ain't a problem.

When I saw the title, I was expecting the removal to be because of the usual band of ignoramuses who scream "INVASION OF PRIVACY!" every time something new and innovate comes out (Google Street View, for example).

MightyJordan said,
When I saw the title, I was expecting the removal to be because of the usual band of ignoramuses who scream "INVASION OF PRIVACY!" every time something new and innovate comes out (Google Street View, for example).

I do hope that isn't part of the reason Facebook removed this. I'd love to see some form of this feature back.

MightyJordan said,

You had to go to the link and enable it for it to show you to other users.

this is TRUE, no one was forcing it, but stop with the facts, people wanna moan

Brian Miller said,
Thanks! I value my privacy.

This really wasn't a privacy concern, especially considering you had to be on the page in order to be shown. The likelihood of you being on that page at the same time as anyone you'd rather not show your profile to is tremendously small. Anyway, why would you deem your full name and photo being seen by people nearby a privacy concern, even if that was the case; it's not as if they can steal your identity with just your full name?

EDIT: Also, you wouldn't have even had to use the feature, even if it had remained, so why would you be thankful they've removed it? Why would you like to disadvantage people when nothing in regard to privacy and function have changed for you?