Facebook – one of the popular social networking website that connects you worldwide with your friends, families, and many more to your network. Now, Facebook is introducing a new feature named “Nearby Friends” for its Android and iPhone mobile users that will allow them to find their friends when they are nearby.
Earlier this month, Facebook added new voice calling feature over Internet functionality for its Messenger app worldwide, that helps its users make free voice calls to their online pals by just tapping the blue phone icon and now Facebook is rolling out its new feature which is completely optional, that means you can turn it ON or OFF at anytime accordingly.
LOCATION SHARING TO LIMITED NETWORK
If you enable the “Nearby Friends” feature, it’s only your friends (friends or close friends or specific friends list) who are able to know your GPS location and nobody else, and that too only if you and your friends both have turned on the ‘Nearby Friends’ feature on your mobile devices and have chosen to share with each other.
Facebook users can opt-in to broadcast their location (<0.5 miles, 0.7 miles, 1.8 miles) to particular friends for a set period of time. Your friends will able to see your exact GPS location on the map, which helps you find each other and meet offline.
“When you see a friend visiting a place you’ve been, it’s the perfect opportunity to send a recommendation for a great restaurant.” Andrea Vaccari, Facebook Product Manager said.
The new feature really helps you make last-minute get together plans with your friend. Also if you find one of your friends visiting the same place you’ve been, it’ll give you a perfect opportunity to send a recommendation of a great restaurant out there.
CONTINUOUS (REAL-TIME) LOCATION DATA COLLECTION
‘Nearby Friends’ actually resembles ‘check-in place’ service of the Facebook, but by enabling the this feature; unfortunately you are authorizing Facebook to send your exact GPS location continuously to the Facebook Servers in order to exchange real time locations with your friends.
“We want to help you find your friends without sharing where you are,” Andrea Vaccari added.
That means, people who are really serious about their Privacy and don’t want to share their location with any service provider, even with Facebook, are not recommended to use this feature.
What else we can expect from this new feature?? May be in near future, Facebook could share your location data with the advertisers. It is just a nuisance when advertisers barge into your life, but it has far greater consequences when hackers or cyber criminals use to exploit such features to gather a lot of information about your life, your relationships, your preferences, and your comings and goings which you may not want to be in any untrusted hands.
Point to be noted that users under 18 cannot turn on the service. We hope that Facebook will continuously tune-up their awesome services without being creepy for users’ privacy and Security.
Currently the feature will be available for US based users of the native Facebook application for iPhone and Android in upcoming weeks.