The new Facebook Nearby Friends app could just end up giving you a social life outside Facebook. Yes, the new mobile app could help you find friends you can talk to face to face.
One of the biggest problems with social media networks today is that it’s too easy to find and keep in touch with old friends, even if they live on the opposite coast. That popular guy or gal from high school can talk to everybody if they want to, just by using the messenger, no matter how far away they are. This creates a popular obstacle between you and actually meeting anyone and ironically turns you into a social hermit.
Facebook has just added an option to find people who live near you, using the GPS signal. Do you remember when you had to go outside and actually say hello to strangers to make new friends? The Facebook Nearby Friends app remembers. This could even revolutionize the dating site industry if it catches on.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) April 17, 2014
This could also have a downside for both users and Facebook. Users will have to share their location on the social network, and some people might not want anyone to find them so easily for personal reasons. Even telling Facebook where you live could be problematic if you just want privacy.
Facebook might find it works against them if people spend less and less time using the site. Less time on Facebook means less potential money for the people who run it. However, the recently announced rumor of Facebook banking could make up for that if it takes off as well.
Mark Zuckerberg’s social network may just be heading into another series of changes, it appears, mirroring last year when the Facebook messenger was updated to the point where it actually ended up more convenient than texting. Now you can publicly tell your friends what movie or TV show you’re watching, share videos uploaded directly, send “stickers” in private messages, and even make phone calls.
The Facebook Nearby Friends app seems poised to get its users away from the computer and make new friends locally. Although it’s a great idea for social interaction, it could end up sacrificing your privacy. Thankfully, both users have to opt in for it to work. Just allow it and the Facebook Nearby Friends alert will tell you who’s nearby. It’s that simple.
Of course, Facebook hasn’t had a problem with sacrificing anyone’s privacy before. Many of us have had to go into our privacy settings after the site made an update without notifying us, and set them back the way we wanted them. Even the timeline keeps switching back to “Top Stories” in spite of many of us telling it we want “Most Recent.”
Do you think the Facebook Nearby Friends app is a positive, or will it simply backfire on us?