And just like that, Facebook’s location-based feature has been removed.
Over the weekend, the social network quietly integrated Find Friends Nearby into its mobile app. The feature, which shows you other people near your location, aimed to speed up the process of “friending” someone nearby.
For this to work, both people had to be logged in to Facebook and have the feature turned on — something that would be great at networking events and conferences, but a little unnerving in everyday life.
According to the company, this was just a test. “This wasn’t a formal release — this was something that a few engineers were testing,” explained a Facebook spokesperson. “With all tests, some get released as full products, others don’t.”
Despite the opt-in factor, privacy concerns still loomed. As a Sprout Insights reader pointed out, it’s likely that many people, who are already confused by Facebook’s privacy settings, might toggle this on without even realizing it.
It’s unclear if Facebook will continue iterating on Find Friends Nearby at this time; although we suspect that this isn’t the last we’ll hear of it. For now you’ll have to continue adding friends the old-fashioned way.