In a clear effort at making Facebook more attractive to mobile users and advertisers, the social networking giant has been tinkering with new apps lately – two months ago it bought out social discovery app Glancee and now, Facebook has launched a new feature that allows its users to scour for friends and potential friends within a specific geographical location. The ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature, also originally tagged as “Friendshake”, is a tool that allows FB users to pinpoint other users within a specific geolocation. It is also a convenient feature for finding new friends during events, without the oft-challenging task of remembering them by and typing their names. This new tool comes handy for mobile FB users, although it is available for the web platform, too.
To use the app, you first have to make sure – of course – that you are logged on to Facebook as well as the FFN or “Find Friends Nearby” URL. Once Facebook is able to track your geolocation, you can pick up others who are near you, comprised of Facebook friends and other users you have yet to meet.
Speaking to TechCrunch through a comment response under the tech website’s published article, Engineer Ryan Patterson of Facebook explained more lengthily about the new feature. He said the Find Friends Nearby tool formed part of a hackathon project and is a joint effort with a fellow engineer. Patterson also made clarifications about the name of the feature – while it was originally called Friendshake, the team eventually came up with “Find Friends Nearby”.
This is not the first location feature released by Facebook. Enabling the Check-In feature allows users to view which contacts have been to places or events they have checked in to. This feature, however, zeroes in more on a Facebook user’s existing friends rather than the potential to meet or make new ones.