Looks like Facebook has put a check mate to the battle of people discovery apps. The social networking giant Facebook introduces a new friend-tracking feature. Similar to Apple’s free Find My Friends iOS app, Facebook’s Nearby Friends feature will notify you when your friends are nearby.
Two years back Facebook has acquired a Location based discovery app called Glancee to help people discover new places and share them with friends. The only full time employees and the co-founder’s of Glancee Andrea, Alberto and Gabriel to joined the Facebook team back then. After joining Facebook, Andrea Vaccari was asked not to build a people-discovery app, but to build a friend-discovery app. After two years of progress, Nearby Friends begins rolling out today on Android and iOS. Andrea Vaccari is currently product manager at Facebook.
Facebook said nearby friends was designed to encourage people to“meet up and spend time together” in real life. Facebook will push an alert to your Lock screen if there are friends nearby.
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“For example, when you’re headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward”explains Facebook.
The new optional feature, makes it easy to find friends around you. You can set the privacy options to prevent specific friends from seeing your location. Nearby Friends alerts you to when friends are in your area, and allows you to share your precise location with them for a set period of time.
The secret sauce of Facebook here is that ” Sharing that you’re nearby is a lot powerful than sharing where exactly you are”.
On the brighter side, Facebook has focused really well on the privacy features. Users will be able to turn Nearby Friends off at any time. By turning off the Nearby friends feature you will immediately disappear from the Nearby Friends section in the other users Facebook app.
“We decided to make it an opt-in experience,” Vacarri. By turning off the feature, the Facebook app will continue to work just as it has to this day.But the question remains.Do we really want our Facebook friends to know where we are at all times? The answer is quite debatable. We feel users will be passively sharing their whereabouts, not knowing who is looking for them, or when they’ll be found. Given the amazing privacy options and opt in experience we feel this is going to be an awesome feature.
There have been rumors that this new feature your phone is expected to drain the battery because Facebook is constantly polling your location in the background.Facebook says that the feature has a minimal impact on your phone’s battery. The feature consumes about 0.4 percent of your phone battery per hour which most people don’t actually notice it. Also, if you’re below 20 percent battery the feature shuts down automatically. Facebook is also working on limiting the number of push notifications it will send users. Nearby Friends will send a push notification to your phone when a friend is visiting your city, but not when you get to work and have colleagues nearby.
In a overall sense this new Facebook’s feature is quite debatable and we would love to hear your views on the same.