You know that friend that posts nearly every fitness meme in existence? Yeah, you know who I’m talking about. We all have one. Now he can ask if you even lift in person with Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’. If you’re the paranoid, black helicopters type, turn away now. Facebook is gradually rolling out a new location tracker that will show nearby friends, and reveal your location.
Yeah, no longer can you tell the white lies that you are doing something noble for the day. Hey, we all binge-watch Netflix. Nothing to be ashamed of. The feature can be turned on under the ‘more’ tab. The location data for your friends gets activated and tells you their location within a half a mile. So, if they are avoiding you, at least you’ll know.
With you turning on Nearby Friends, it will also enable Facebook Location History. Facebook builds a history of places you’ve been, even when you’re not using the app. I’m sure the NSA thanks them for that nugget. You can view where all you have been, and individually delete locations. Your friends will not have access to this data.
If Facebook ever wanted to kill off Groupon etc, this is their chance. This type of data is a goldmine for consumer specific advertisements.
While the locations given to users are vague, you can opt to send your exact location to a friend. Once you share the location, a detailed pin on a map will display, and you can send the friend a 40 character message detailing where you are.
In addition to sharing the exact location, there is a counter with ‘Stop Sharing This’. This will remove the visibility of your location to friends.
The move by Facebook is in response to Twitter testing a feature that showed tweets from people nearby, even if you didn’t follow them. There is actually an app called Cloak that will actively help you avoid your friends on social media. Or, you could just delete them. An app for our laziness. No wonder it’s a success.
Below is a video showing how Nearby Friends works in the real world.