This past Sunday, Facebook released yet another application; this one was deemed solely as “a test,” and for mobile use. Though somewhat “creepy” in nature, Facebook’s “Find Friends Nearby” feature was created to help the user to literally locate friends who may physically be nearby. Using a GPS add-on, the Facebook user can see whenever one of their Facebook friends (who also must have the feature) is nearby, hopefully prompting a spontaneous hangout.
Apparently many people on the social web felt as though the application was a bit invasive.
From June 25-June 27th, in relation to “Find Friends Nearby,” the word “creepy” was mentioned 1,194 times on the social web. The word “stalkers” was mentioned 456 times, and 1,130 posts asked or answered questions on how to remove the feature.
On Twitter alone “Find Friends Nearby” was mentioned 16,293 times out of a total 19,325 total social web mentions.
As quickly as the feature became available, it was taken down. “Find Friends Nearby” was removed the day after it was made public (Monday) due to concerns that it breached the privacy of its users, and that the feature’s power could be abused becoming dangerous for users. Facebook spokespeople told the public that this was simply a test at how consumers would take to the application. Charles Sankowich, CEO of Friendthem however, believed that Facebook took down said feature due to his threats of a copyright infringement lawsuit.
Sankowich said that he had told one of Facebook’s employees of his copyrighted Friendthem feature, and months later, a similar product with similar functions was released by Facebook.
Whatever the reason for taking it down, it seems as though Facebook did the right thing according to the response of the public. Would you consider using this feature? Do you too think that it poses a threat to the safety of Facebook users? Are there any perks to the feature?