Nearby Friends on Facebook will notify you about your friend’s location when they are nearby. This is a new feature on Facebook which can be used to track your friend’s location in real-time. This feature once enabled on your Facebook mobile app, will notify you when any of your friends are closer to your current location.
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This feature is rolling out in stages although it was initially released on April 17, 2014. In today’s guide, we will have a quick discussion on 5 essential things you should know about Facebook Nearby Friends.
1. How To Use Nearby Friends
For starters, to use the Nearby Friends, you are required to share your location with your friends and they must do the same. Then you need to enable Nearby Friends which can be done from the More tab within your Facebook application (iOS or Android), once the options appear, simply look for Nearby Friends in the menu to turn it on.
So you will be visible to any of your friends that has done same by sharing their respective locations on the app. The nearby friends list will also show the distance between you and your friend and other details like their last logged location and the current neighborhood they’re in.
Sharing Precise Location At Stipulated Time
Most people do not like the idea of sharing their location as this makes them dispensable to some things. Well, whatever you reason may be, you can choose to set the time you are trackable on the nearby friends feature. This simply means you can share your precise location with your friend(s) for the period of time you wish to.
2. Use Of Your Data
Yes, no such thing as a free lunch, using the Nearby Friends feature uses the data gathered by your location history for marketing purposes.
If you read the terms and conditions of the Facebook nearby feature (which many don’t), then you will see that the data you submit to use the Nearby Friends can easily be used by Facebook to share with advertisers who will probably forward targeted ads to you – which isn’t so bad. This isn’t news because every other location-based FB even before Nearby Friends works in the same way.
(Image Source: TechCrunch)
3. Facebook Features That Use Location Info
Several location-based Facebook features such as Facebook Messenger, Nearby Places, Check-in and Status update turns on users location by default.
So, Facebook technically knows your location as accepted by you from the features listed above. So using the Nearby Friends feature shouldn’t be that bad for you as it is a great feature to help you reconnect more easily with friends.
4. There Are Other Better Apps
There are several apps that rely on the location sharing with friends feature. To name a few, we have Circle, an app to find out what local events are happening around you and your friends that have registered their interest in attending the event.
We also have Banjo, which gives you information about live events and breaking news on several social network, that can be streamlined by location.
Connect is also another one, that brings all your social networks friends (not just the ones on Facebook) into a single map. List of nearby friends are shown here, people visiting from out-of-state, and your social address book is always up-to-date.
For Android users, there’s Google Now Commute Sharing. This permits your friends or family to know when you’re heading home from work. It works over the Google+ network where you can share your locations to those in your circles.
Once this feature is enabled, your location will be readily available in the form of Google Now cards when you’re at work, leaving from work and when you arrive home – every step of the way.
5. Yes, We Need To Talk About Privacy
We stated earlier that for this feature to work, both you and your friend must share each other’s location, this may sound like a breach of your privacy. However, the good news is you have the option to either share your location to just a group of your Facebook list or make it public to everyone.
Remember, the Facebook nearby friends feature is optional, and at the end of the day, you are in charge of your own privacy matters.
Having discussed the Facebook nearby friends feature, in comparison to other location sharing based app, we will notice one clear advantage, most of your friends are probably already on Facebook. However, one possible downside is, this feature could probably have an effect on your battery life, but to bring your online social life back to real life, this is probably one of the best Facebook feature you can turn to.
I hope this guide was helpful?
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