Facebook adds Find Friends Nearby to cement new friendships

Facebook adds Find Friends Nearby to cement new friendships
Like exchanging a business card through Facebook

Facebook has integrated a new feature into its mobile apps and website, which allows users to spot nearby pals, or easily make friends with people they've just met.

The Find Friends Nearby page uses GPS coordinates and shows other people currently visiting that 'meeting room,' whether you're already friends with them or not.

Non-friends will be listed in an 'Others' section.

Of course there's the immediate assumption that the tool could be used for people to stalk random revellers in bars, but anyone on the Find Friends Nearby page is looking to be found anyway.

The feature has not been officially launched yet, but TechCrunch reports that it's available to use for those seeking it out.

Staying in contact

After publishing the story, TechCrunch received comments from the Facebook developer who built the project, Ryan Patterson.

He said: "This particular product uses geolocation to find your GPS coordinates when you are on the page. Everyone who is visiting the page within a radius around your coordinates at the same time as you will be listed. Once you leave the page, you stop showing up on others' lists.

"For me, the ideal use case for this product is the one where when you're out with a group of people whom you've recently met and want to stay in contact with.

"Facebook search might be effective, or sharing your vanity addresses or business cards, but this tool provides a really easy way to exchange contact information with multiple people with minimal friction."

Glancee inspired?

The functionality can be accessed through http://fb.com/ffn on the mobile web, while also though the iOS and Android apps (menu > apps > find friends > other tools > Find Friends Nearby.)

The innovation comes months after Facebook purchased the Glancee app, which is geared towards helping people find those with similar interests to their own.

It's unclear whether this tech has been involved in creating Find Friends Nearby.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.