How would you like to know who among your Facebook friends/contacts are within the vicinity? How about hanging out with some of them without any plan? Yes, it is now possible through a new feature that the social networking site has recently rolled out. And to some, it may bring possible stalking to the next level.
Facebook has started implementing a new feature called ‘Nearby Friends.’ As the name suggests, it would let a user see if any of his friends is within the area. It is initially rolled out in the Website’s mobile versions for iPhone and Android in the US. But the company assured that it would reach all its users over the coming few weeks.
Nearby Friends was first rolled out for testing in June 2012. However, that trial phase was short-lived after a startup firm called Friendthem filed a complaint against Facebook. It turned out that the new site was offering the same service. Now it seems that all possible impediments have already been cleared and the new feature is on the go-signal.
This new feature is an optional one. This means that Facebook users would not have to worry about the possibility of broadcasting their current whereabouts without their permission. As a Facebook user, you have to first turn the service/feature on for you to be notified when any of your friends happen to be in close proximity.
How would it be useful? If you have plans of going to the movies this afternoon, Nearby Friends would enable you to find out who among your friends are currently nearby so you could opt to see a movie together. Perhaps, you could also meet up after the movie.
Security and privacy
Are you concerned about your overall security and privacy? Don’t worry. Nearby Friends would not work unless you turn it on. When the feature is enabled on your mobile, you could also select the friends/contacts who would be able to detect when you are nearby. Your friends should also turn on the feature and choose you among the shared contacts for you to know the whereabouts of each of you.
When any of your friends have also visited a place where you are now at, they could also recommend good restaurants or shopping sites. You could also do the same to some of your friends. If you find the idea as creepy, you could instantly and immediately turn the feature on.