Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.Reuters

Earlier this week, Facebook unveiled a new feature called Nearby Friends, which will notify you when Facebook friends are nearby. This is so that you can "get in touch with them and meet up."


It is worth noting that the feature is not being forced upon users and that it will only be activated if a user decides to enable it. Facebook is also giving users the ability to turn it on and off at will, apart from choosing which friends get to see them when they are nearby.

How Does it Work?

The feature will make use of the smartphone's GPS unit to tell your friends when you are nearby. The feature also allows users to retain certain degree of their privacy, since their exact location is not given away. Instead, friends simply get to know that you are nearby.

More Precise Location

Even though the feature does not give away a user's exact location, you can allow select friends to see your specific location in case you want to meet up. Friends can see where you are located in a particular park, airport or city block. By default, your exact location will be shared for only an hour, this can changed.

Release: When And Where

Currently, the feature is being designed for a US only release, meaning that it's going to take a while before international users can start using it. According to Facebook, Nearby Friends will be available in the US in "the coming weeks."

Read more about the feature here.