Facebook has recently announced a new feature called ‘Nearby Friends’. The Facebook Nearby Friends feature is available on both the iOS and Android Facebook apps. Nearby Friends is an opt-in feature and is currently being rolled out to all the users.
Facebook Nearby Friends as the name suggests, lets you know which friends are near you. Once you enable the feature, you will be notified when friends are nearby. One of the biggest criticism about Facebook till date has been that it has moved all our interactions online and killed our real-world interactions completely. With Nearby Friends this criticism takes back seat.
Facebook Nearby Friends has some great use cases in real life. It lets you know which of your friends is nearby and you can ask them if they want to hang out with you. Say, it is lunch time and you can ask your nearby friend to join you for lunch or you are at a concert and you can tag with your nearby friend. The Nearby Friends feature is particularly very helpful when you are in a new city. It lets you connect with your friends you haven’t met in ages.
Facebook has also very ably handed all the privacy issues concerning location sharing unlike other location sharing apps. As we have already mentioned earlier, Nearby Friends is an optional feature and you can turn it on or off anytime. You can choose to share your location with all your friends or a group or a list of friends. Your location is shared with your friends only if they choose to share their location too with you. Nearby Friends only posts an approximate location of you instead of the exact GPS co-ordinates.
How To Enable ‘Nearby Friends’ Feature On Facebook?
1. Click on the ‘More’ tab at the bottom of your screen on your iOS or Android Facebook app.
2. You will find the Nearby Friends feature in the app list.
3. Click on Nearby Friends and turn it on. You can also choose with which friends you would like to share your location. Be careful about whom you share your location with.
How To Use ‘Nearby Friends’ Feature On Facebook?
Once you have turned on Facebook Nearby Friends you can always access it under the ‘More’ tab at the bottom of your screen on the Facebook app. Nearby Friends shows a list of all the friends nearby and their approximate distance from you. When you like to meetup someone click on the location icon beside their name to send them your precise location which they will be able to see on a map. Along with sharing your precise location you can also choose for how much time you would like to share your precise location with them. You can also send them an optional message letting them know of the purpose and asking them to share his/her precise location with you. You can turn off sharing the precise location any time by clicking on the location icon beside their name and clicking on ‘Stop Sharing This’.
Nearby Friends is one of the most useful features from Facebook that lets you share your location with your friends without really infringing on your privacy. I personally find this to be a great option for real-world interactions. Do share with us what you think about Nearby Friends and if you would use it?