After rolling out new and updated versions of its Facebook Messenger app, the social networking giant introduced a new feature in is mobile application suite – the “Nearby Friends” feature.
An opt-in feature at its core, Nearby Friends affords Facebook users with a real time geolocation meet-up function, posting notifications when Facebook friends are “detected” to be near each other. This means that Facebook friends are no longer limited to interactions within the social network itself, extending its social aspects to the real world.
To be clear, the feature is optional, which means that users can set their location stats information via the app’s settings. Users can also opt to set the Nearby Friends feature based on a select number of friends only, further enhancing its functional aspects as relevant and timely to the needs of Facebook users.
Available in both Android and iOS versions of the Facebook app, the Nearby Friends feature is expected to be rolled out to all users based in the US “over the coming weeks”.
It is still unclear if Nearby Friends will be made available to other areas overseas, which comes as a likely possibility, considering how certain Facebook features are not available outside of the United States.
Though not specifically said, the Facebook app’s new Nearby Friends feature appears to take the place of the app’s messaging function, with is reported to be taken down after the updated release of Facebook Messenger, which now features support for VOIP-based calls.
Think the Nearby Friends feature makes up for the loss of the Facebook app’s native messaging functions?