LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — A new Facebook mobile feature could take the art of “Facebook stalking” to a new level.
On Thursday, Facebook announced that the optional “Nearby Friends” tool (rolling out starting today) will help phone app users “discover which friends are nearby or on the go.”
TechCrunch reports that Nearby Friends was made possible by the “Glancee” location-sharing application that Facebook acquired back in 2012.
“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,” the Facebook announcement says.
“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.”
In order to use the feature in this way, both parties have to turn on the Nearby Friends option and choose to share their locations with each other.
While it has a lot creepy potential, Nearby Friends could definitely come in handy, as well.
Facebook points out the following examples:
- “When you see a friend visiting a place you’ve been, it’s the perfect opportunity to send a recommendation for a great restaurant.”
- “You can also make last-minute plans to meet up with a friend who happens to be in the same place you’re headed to.” (Though this could definitely backfire if you’re not in the mood to hang.)
- “If you turn on Nearby Friends, you can also choose to share a precise location with the particular friends you choose for a set period of time, such as the next hour. When you share your precise location, the friend you choose will see exactly where you are on a map, which helps you find each other.”
Only time will tell if the feature turns out to be useful, scary or both.