Aussie friends can now locate their mates using Facebook's Nearby Friends

By Money Times

Oct 02, 2015 02:57 AM EDT

Good news to Aussie Facebook lovers.  Nearby Friends, a feature from Facebook can now be used by our mates in Down Under to locate their friends along the neighborhood or vice versa.

Australian Facebook users can now take advantage on iOS and Android the new feature Facebook has in store for them.  The popular social network announced Thursday that Nearby Friends, a new built-in feature in the Facebook's mobile app enables you to see who of your friends are close by and even share your exact location with others.

The new feature utilizes the geolocation technology in your smartphone to tell when you are close to one of your Facebook friends.  Once activated, the feature will then send periodic notification alerting you of nearby friends.  Checking in on Facebook, already shares your location as part of a post whereas Nearby Friends allows you to show your general location to Facebook friends even without posting, according to Mashable.

This new feature is opt-in which means you have to activate it within the app if you wish to join.  Facebook users who opt not to activate the feature will not be affected in any way, and will not share or get any information on location from others.

 "The mission of Facebook is to connect people, to bring people together," says Andrea Vaccari, the product manager for the new feature. "Nearby Friends sort of pushes that forward by making it a little easier to find new opportunities to meet your friends while you're out and about."

The feature tells your friends your exact location if you prefer, by sharing your location on a map for an amount of time set.  When you select this option, the shared friend will have access to your exact position in real-time.

The system uses GPS and triangulation between mobile phone towers which then acquires your position.  A map is then created with your entire friend's location.

Aside from sharing you the exact location with chosen friends, users can also set their location by the use of a timer that switches off the feature after a particular time.  In addition, it is a handy function to show friends the place you'll be traveling and prevents people from stalking you, as reported by Business Insider.

Nearby Friends feature was rolled out April 17 in the United States.  It allows friends to see approximately the distance between you and them, and you can share your exact, real-time location for a limited time, TechCrunch reported.

The location finder feature was built by the Glancee  location sharing app team led by Andrea Vaccari which was acquired by Facebook in 2012.  It increases a list of friends who are nearby to Facebook's iOS and Android apps.  It also sends notifications if you come within a short distance of a friend, and in case someone shares their exact location with you, it will be definitely seen on the map.

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