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Facebook debuts new Find Friends Nearby app

App makes it easier to find people through mobile; only those accessing app can be found

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
June 24, 2012 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/27cf

If you’ve ever been out, talking to someone you just met and they ask to be Facebook friends, you know what comes next. You fumble around trying to find them on your phone, asking them repeatedly how you spell their name, and then scroll through a million different people trying to figure out which picture is them. Honestly, it’s all a big hassle.

That process should become more streamlined now that Facebook has introduced its Find Friends Now feature, originally called Friendshake.

What the new app does is allow you to see everyone around you who has a Facebook page, given that they are currently using the Find Friends Nearby feature (abbreviated FNN).

The app is available by going to http://fb.com/ffn from your browser on your phone. It then uses your phone's GPS to find people within a certain radius. You can also access through Facebook's iOS and Android app by going to menu >apps>find friends>other tools>find friends nearby.

While this new feature may irk some people who are concerned about privacy, the only people who come up on the list are those already accessing the app and will, therefore, only be those who allow themselves to be found. On the homepage for Find Friends Nearby it informs you that if the person you are looking for does not appear on the list, it is because they need to open the page.

The debut of Find Friends Nearby comes two months after Facebook purchased Glancee, which allows users to find people with similar interests nearby. It takes a users "likes" and compares them to the "likes" of other people around them. So, if you're in a coffee shop, you might get an alert from Glancee that someone with similar interests is nearby. You can then check them out on your phone and see what you have in common.

It would seen natural that the features from Glancee would eventually become incorporated into the Find Friends nearby app, but there is no indication that that will be the case so far.

Ryan Patterson, the Facebook engineer who developed the app, wrote this in the TechCrunch comments section:

“I built Find Friends Nearby with another engineer for a hackathon project. While it was originally called ‘Friendshake’, we settled on ‘Find Friends Nearby’ for launch (the URL was a little bit of a homage to the previous iteration).

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.”

A Facebook spokesperson tells VatorNews, "We are constantly testing new features but have nothing more to share at this time."

(Image source: http://www.zazzle.com)


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