Facebook is testing a new feature which would let users see their friends’ locations that are nearby, this may be an improvement of the opt-in feature launched four years ago known as ‘Nearby Friends’.
Using this feature will let you see your friends’ imprecise location and not the definite co-ordinates. A ‘view list’ button would open up a map, showing nearby friends. However, it is up to the user to make use of it or not.
FB friends include a mass of people, they range from daily acquaintances, family, a random person you met at a party, a FB friend who’s no longer your friend and more. Some users may only be comfortable sharing their location only with a portion of this mass. The platform has not revealed if a filter would be included in this feature to allow location-sharing with specific friends.
It might invite some trouble if your mom sees you in your friend’s area when you told her you’d have to stay home to complete work to get out of going to your relative’s house or your boss sees you hanging around when you’ve told them you’re sick and staying home.
FB mentions this tool is built to help friends meet in real-time but just because a friend is nearby, doesn’t mean they’re available. Users might rather prefer the traditional way of asking and making a plan. Though the tool would instigate spontaneous meet-ups.
Location-based content has spiked on social media, from people tagging a restaurant they ate at last night or a music festival they went to on the other hand real-time location sharing might be a step too far but we wouldn’t know until it’s rolled out on the entire scale. Snap Map from Snapchat seems to have done all right; Facebook has a larger user-base with more daily active users, so it might do well given it’s revered by its users.