Facebook is rolling out a new feature called “Find Friends Nearby” to its mobile apps. Find Friends Nearby allows you to meet people who are around you and have the application page open at the same time as you do. The app doesn’t specifically say where you or the nearby person is, it just allows you to add that person as a friend.
This feature is accessible on Facebook mobile web through a URL that is the abbreviation of “Find Friends Nearby”: http://fb.com/ffn. If you have Facebok’s iOS or Android app installed, you can access the page from here: Menu > Apps > Find Friends > Other Tools > Find Friends Nearby.
Update: Facebook has pulled back this experimental feature for now. We might see an improved version for the general public sometime in the future.
Facebook has turned this feature on by default and, as of now, the only way to stop location sharing is by stopping the entire app from accessing your location. It works much like an opt-in feature at the moment as both users have to be logged into the app’s page before Facebook makes their locations public.
If this new feature has you feeling creeped out, you can turn off location services for Facebook entirely by following these steps:
- iPhone users: Go to Settings > Location Services, and tap on location services for Facebook to turn off.
- Android users: You can disable location sharing in the Facebook app itself. Tap on the Menu icon > Settings > Location Services and uncheck the box that enables location services.
- Facebook Mobile: Just disable location sharing for your mobile browser.
Do note that once you do this, you won’t be able to check-in at a place or share your location with your contacts. To start sharing your location again, follow the same process.