It happened to me tonight. Out at a restaurant, post a picture on Instagram or Twitter, and you get a message from a friend: ”Hey, I just walked by there!” Even the biggest city can feel like a small town sometimes, and Facebook seems determined to make that town even smaller by putting you and your friends in touch with one another. Facebook is rolling out a new location-finder service called Nearby Friends that allows your friends to track you down when you’re nearby. Facebook seems to be in no hurry to roll the service out, probably due to the many privacy concerns something like that would have.
The service uses the GPS system in your smartphone to share your location with the world via Facebook, so that means there are two layers of security that can keep things private. You have to turn the GPS on in your phone and you have to turn on the Nearby Friends service on Facebook itself. However, it doesn’t give an exact location, just a general area within a half-mile of your current location. You’ll be close enough to your friends to reach out, but not so close that your friends will know you’re at Bed Bath and Beyond or Starbucks specifically.
The first users who will get access are users who tend to use location-finding services, like restaurant check-ins and the like. It will be rolled out to other users in the weeks and months to come.Technorati Tags: facebook, facebook location sharing service, facebook nearby friends, facebook sharing service, facebook smartphone app, GPS, location sharing, nearby friends, smartphone