Facebook has just added a new feature that lets users find friends and potential friends that are close to them. You can go to http://fb.com/ffn or use the app to test the new feature out. The way it works is you log into Facebook and http://fb.com/ffn or just the Find Friends Nearby section. You can see both your own friends, as well as those you may not know if they are in that that section too at the same time. I think letting users meet new people rather than just the friends you already have makes Facebook more accessible adds favor to a seemingly stale product. It also feels like OK Cupid’s meet now feature. Find Friends Nearby option is available on Facebook’s iOS and Android apps. It’s here: menu > apps > find friends > other tools > Find Friends Nearby, which takes you to a page that looks exactly like the mobile web page. I think Facebook did this to reach as much people as possible. Note however you have to have Location service turned on for your browser for it to work.
The service comes on the heels of Facebook buying a mobile app that helps users discover people near them with similar interests called Glancee. We are not sure if the app is the reason why Facebook has this new feature but so far it works pretty well. Friendshake was to be the name of the new feature but it was changed to Find Friends Nearby. TechCrunch was the first to break this still developing story. A source named Pincombe points out, “Before, you would need to tell them your name, probably spell it for them, and then depending on how common your name is, you’d have to tell them which of the results is actually you. This makes it 2 taps if you save a bookmark.”
A Facebook engineer named Ryan Patterson said “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. And there is, of course, the potential of how this basic service could be further developed: finding people who are friends of friends, or who have flagged similar interests in their social graphs; and it potentially could be something to incorporate as a push service, rather than one you have to be activate to use every time.”
NOTE: Find my Friend is a progress aka a beta test and could disrepair at anytime. The two ways to get to it are as follows
- Find Friends Nearby option is available on Facebook’s iOS and Android apps. It’s here: menu > apps > find friends > other tools > Find Friends Nearby