Facebook introduces service that shows friends nearby

Facebook has introduced new functionality called Nearby Friends. As the name suggests, it allows users to see which Facebook friends are nearby. The new feature is optional.

The arrival of Nearby Friends was announced by Facebook through its website. According to the social networking site, the new feature will allow users to be notified when Facebook friends are nearby. It is also possible to view their location on a map.

According to Facebook, the new functionality is optional and users have to turn it on themselves. This was probably chosen to avoid privacy objections. Users can select that they only want to share their location with Facebook friends, in order to maintain some control over their data.

Facebook will roll out Nearby Friends right away, but will be the first to do so in the United States. The rollout could take several weeks to complete, but Facebook hasn’t announced a European release yet, though it’s likely to follow soon. The new feature is coming to smartphones and tablets with Android or iOS.