Social networking site Facebook is set to introduce a new feature for its mobile apps that would allow users to see which of their friends are in a nearby location.
The feature, which is optional, would send occasional notifications to users, informing them if any of their Facebook friends are nearby or on the move.
The social media platform has said that this tool would be particularly useful for those who wish to meet up with their friends, suggesting that it would help them to coordinate their social lives. The facility could also be used to send recommendations of services and amenities, such as restaurants and attractions.
Those who opt to use the feature will be able to choose specific friends and friendship groups to receive notifications about, with only those selected being able to see a user’s location. This service can be switched off at any time with the click of a button. It can also be used to identify and track friends who are out of town, as the app will have the ability to find out which city and even neighbourhood they are in.
Andrea Vaccani, Facebook’s product manager, informed news providers in a blog post:
“Your friends will only be able to see that you’re nearby if you share this info with them and vice versa.”
It has been confirmed that the feature will become available to the site’s iOS and Android app users in the coming weeks.