Facebook finds a new way to expand the role of social network in the real-world scenario. User’s mobile app will soon be notify when a nearby friends is in your location. By choosing the “Nearby friends” feature, users must give the permission that facebook will track them anytime even they don’t log in facebook.
This service will probably be available in the coming weeks. Facebook user’s mobile application will get notification that will ask them to opt in. This new Facebook feature is joining again a crowded space occupied by dating app Tinder and other social services in Foursquare. Last year, Radar (smarphone app) is released which tells the Facebook users the location of their friends. Cloak, another app, is using Foursquare and Instagram to help locate or avoid those people.
In recent months, Facebook employees have been trying this app and Vaccari stated that it’s having some unexpected outcome. Facebook shortly tried a feature similar to Nearby Friends last June 2012. But after the news reports of the test surfaced, they immediately stopped the test.
Facebook rival, Twitter.com also conducted a test of new app last December. The feature allowed the users to see nearby tweets whether the user follow the tweet or not. The notification will not really reveal the user’s exact location only the neighboring sites. Users have the options to share their exact location or not. Vaccari stated that this feature is handy even when meeting people in crowded places like party or concerts.
But there are some privacy concern being raised by the advocates showing their concerns about the danger of the opting services. The executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy called for a review of the product to the Federal Trade Commission.
Glancee’s Former chief executive Andrea Vaccari said that the developing Nearby Friends will make sure that Facebook app will not flood the users with notification or drain the batteries of their phones. Vaccari doesn’t like the users being bombarded with notification every second that someone came home or arrived in the office. The team developed algorithms that Facebook can control and limit the notifications.
Facebook hopes to help all its more than one billion users in developing new relationships. Vaccari said that he “fell in love with the problem” of having new friends.