One might wonder what could the giant social media company bring new to the popular Facebook. Recently, it seems that Facebook has been talking about anything else but Facebook. They have spent billions of dollars on new technology and apps that were separate from the actual Facebook service. Facebook fans have been waiting to see what new features their favorite social network has in store for them. The news is that on Thursday, Facebook announced their first important feature in almost a year. It’s called Facebook Nearby Friends and it lets the users see which friends are in their vicinity.
With Nearby Friends, Facebook offers its users a more direct connection with each other, a connection that was somehow missing before. The new feature works on smart mobile devices that run in Android and Apple operating systems.
The Nearby Friends feature is found at the bottom right corner of the app, in the “More” section. Once you enable it, it will show you what city a friend is in, what neighborhood, how many miles away your friend is and for how long he or she was there.
There are a few restrictions too. In order to see your friend and for your friend to see you, you both have to have the Nearby Friends feature turned on. You can also customize the list of people who can see you. The feature allows you to see which friends are not “nearby”. You get a “travelling” mode that will show you if any of your friends are on a trip. You can give them suggestions where to go and you can meet up if you happen to be travelling to that specific location.
Facebook’s Nearby Friends feature – the origins
The idea for the Nearby Friends feature came two years ago when Facebook bought Glancee, an app that allowed its users to find people around them who share similar interests. Galncee’s main competition was the similar Highlight app which became very popular in 2012. Glance changed its name and turned into Nearby Friends.
It looked like Facebook has been recently focused on other brands: a few months ago they purchased the popular messaging service WhatsApp and the virtual reality glasses Oculus. Facebook bought these two companies for $20 billion. We’re glad to hear that they are focusing on their own thing now and we can’t wait to test the new Nearby Friends feature.
What do you think about the new feature? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.