‘Cool’ or ‘Freaky’? Facebook Launches Friend-Finding App That Uses Your Location (Update: App Yanked)
Do you have a hard time finding friends — literally? This may be the app for you.
Adding to the number of already available apps that use GPS to link your location for any number of features and services to be used, a new Facebook app was launched over the weekend that lets smartphone users find friends — and potential friends — nearby.
“Friendshake” — or “Find Friends Nearby” — isn’t the first app to do this sort of thing. Earlier this year, the Blaze reported on “Highlight,” an app that not only showed the people around you who were linked up to the app, but also provided you with some information on them.
Highlight and others like it were well-received by social media-ites, while those who are more private find it potentially invasive or open for abuse.
Gizmodo describes “Find Friends Nearby” as “half cool, half freaky.” The cool part, it explains, is it allows you to quickly become “Facebook official” friends with random people you meet out in public. Although the app will only show others around you who also have signed into the service — consent is required — it does make your presence known to strangers, which is the freaky part for Gizmodo.
Tech Crunch points out that this app comes only a few months after Facebook acquired another app called “Glancee,” which allowed users of the service to find friends around them with similar interests. Tech Crunch has more from app developer Ryan Patterson:
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.
Tech Crunch explains that the app is still a work in progress, but it is available if you’re logged into both Facebook and the Find Friends Nearby website or using it through your Facebook iOS app.
Update: The app has been pulled completely from both the app store and the mobile page. Wired reports a Facebook representative saying this was not the official launch of the app but only a test phase. They are not ready to release further details at this time. If and when Facebook would relaunch the app is not yet clear.
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