Facebook has quietly slipped in a new feature onto its mobile apps that allow users to locate their mates or make new ones with people they’ve just met.
The “Find Friends Nearby” feature lets users discover people around them or find a friend who maybe in the same place
The feature uses GPS and shows other people that have entered an area. It also shows you whether you are friends or not. Non-friends are listed in the “others” section.
The Facebook developer that built the feature, Ryan Patterson, told TechCrunch that the 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,” he said.
“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.”
While the feature hasn’t been officially launched, it is available 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.)