Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Facebook unveiled a new, unofficial feature for a short time, designed to allow its users to see who is nearby at any time.
The feature Facebook calls “Find Friends Nearby” was made available to users through Facebook’s mobile apps and website, although it wasn't officially announced.
The new feature was tipped off by tech blog site TechCrunch
on Sunday, and was pulled by mid-afternoon on Monday.
"Find Friends Nearby" raised concerns among some because it could potentially open up interactions with strangers.
Users were able to see the feature by visiting fb.com/ffn
using a mobile phone, or following this path using Facebook’s mobile apps: Menu > apps> find friends> other tools > then “Find Friends Nearby.”
Facebook developer Ryan Patterson tells CNN that he developed the new “Find Friends Nearby” app and says, “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."
A Facebook spokeswoman declined to provide additional information to CNN.