The “Nearby Friends” feature on mobile On Facebook allows your friends to know that you are nearby. If you have the FB mobile app (iPhone or Android), you need to understand that this feature is available for your devices. Nearby Friends feature is an opt-in feature; this implies that by default, it is turned OFF unless you decide to turn ON the feature. Hence, in this post, we will tell you exactly how to enable this feature so that friends near you can contact you when you are in their community, a great relationship can start from the simple meeting.
Let us deep in closer to take a look at the real meaning of the nearby friends’ feature and discuss how you and another Facebook user can enjoy this great feature.
HOW FACEBOOK NEARBY FRIENDS WORKS ON THE MOBILE APPLICATION
The Nearby friend feature is within the Facebook app on the “More” tab at the bottom. Click the “more” tab, and then you’ll see Nearby Friends. If turned off, you’ll be prompted to turn it on.
Once it is turned on, you’ll see a list of Nearby Friends. Those on your Facebook friends list who have ALSO decided to turn on this feature. (This implies that you won’t see all your friends listed here).
(Faces blurred because they don’t want to admit they know me ;-))
Click the settings icon in the upper right (as in the screenshot above). This FB step is the step where you can choose who can see your location. For example, if you have set up lists on Facebook, you can choose to share your location with just that particular list, such as Close Friends. The default is “Friends” as shown on the left; select and then choose from your available listings.
You can also share your precise location with a friend if you wish. For example, you might see that a friend is nearby and you want to meet up with them. Click the arrow icon next to their name and then choose how long they can see your every move.
This video from Tech Crunch shows precisely how this works.
HOW TO TURN OFF NEARBY FRIENDS IN FACEBOOK
If you’ve used Nearby Friends and decided it’s not for you, turn the feature off. Follow the same steps (More tab > Nearby Friends > Settings) and then slide the slider to the left until the slider is no longer green.
The tiny text on the screen lets you know that even though you have turned off Nearby Friends, the app is still building a “history of your precise location even when you’re not using the app.” If you feel this is a bit intrusive, take a look at the Location Settings.
On the Location Settings screen, slide the slider to the left to turn off Location History. This action does not delete your previously saved history; that is still lurking around on your Activity Log. While you are the only, who can see this log (It’s not an option to be shared with friends), you can remove your history if you prefer.
To get to the history log, click the “More” tab again, scroll down and find Activity Log. Choose the Filter at the top, and select Location History (It’s near the bottom of the list). Once selected, you’ll have a filtered view of your activity that only shows location history. Select “Clear Location History” (shown here).
Learn more about Facebook Nearby friends on the Facebook help page.
TEENS AND NEARBY FRIENDS
For those with teens who are active on Facebook, this would be a great time to review their Friends lists. Teens are more likely to have a large number of Facebook friends. Their friend’s list is probably more of a “random acquaintance” list. They could be sharing their whereabouts with hundreds of people. Unless they are selective when adding friends, they might be making their general location known to more people than you’d like (or they even realize).
Again, this is an opt-in feature, so talk with your teen about whether they should use this feature if they have Facebook on their phone. If they do, perhaps limiting the sharing to “Close Friends” would be a wise approach.
So what do you think? Does this feature sound like a good idea? If you think you might find this useful, you may want to turn on this feature. I only see value if most of your friends use Facebook on the go and also turn on this feature. If you are concerned about privacy and sharing your location data with others – even if they are your friends – or you don’t think you’ll ever use it, then leave it off.