Facebook To Ping Users Of Nearby Friends

Apr 17 2014, 3:12pm CDT | by

Facebook is getting into the so-called people discovery space already populated by apps like Tinder, Highlight and Social Radar, capitalizing on our smartphones as homing devices. The company said Thursday that it would roll out a new feature called Nearby Friends over the next few weeks.

“If you turn on Nearby Friends, you’ll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up,” Facebook product manager Andrea Vaccari said in a blog post. “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.”

Vaccari is the former chief executive of Glancee, a location-based people discovery app that Facebook bought in 2012. Glancee was founded in 2010 as an attempt to bring together the “physical and digital” worlds of smartphone users.

Part of the challenge for Nearby Friends will be for the feature to only deliver the most relevant notifications, and not overwhelm users with pings whenever family members walk into the house or someone they are already scheduled to meet walks into a building.

It relates to the challenge Facebook already faces with its current newsfeed: ensuring that users see the most relevant information about people they are interested in, rather than distant acquaintances in far-off places.

Social Radar, one new addition to the world of people-discovery apps, relies on friends actively choosing to check in to one of a handful of large platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus and FourSquare. Anyone who publishes their location to any of those platforms show up as being within a 1 to 100 mile radius

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook considered letting the feature show the location of friends on a map, but decided it might be seen as a privacy infringement.

Facebook said the app would be available on both iOS and Android phones.

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Need for Speed Reboot is Coming This Fall
Need for Speed Reboot is Coming This Fall
EA will release a complete new Need for Speed this fall. The video game giant just released a teaser video and the first Need for Speed Gameplay video will be revealed in June.
 
 
Google Self-Driving Cars to Hit Public Roads this Summer
Google Self-Driving Cars to Hit Public Roads this Summer
Google announced today that Google Car prototype vehicles will leave the test track and hit the familiar roads of Mountain View.
 
 
Google Search Analytics Launched in Web Master Tools
Google Search Analytics Launched in Web Master Tools
Google officially announced the new Search Analytics feature in Webmaster tools.
 
 
T-Mobile Hits Verizon with new 'Never Settle Trial' Campaign
T-Mobile Hits Verizon with new 'Never Settle Trial' Campaign
In case customers don't feel satisfied, T-Mobile will pay for them to shift back to Verizon