Facebook recently announced the addition of a new feature called Nearby Friends to its Android and iOS apps. No prizes for guessing that the new feature, which is thankfully optional, lets Facebook users discover friends who are nearby.
Currently being rolled out to Facebook for Android and iOS users in the States, it remains turned off by default. You will need a bit more than merely turning it on to make the most of Nearby Friends, though.
“Sharing your location with Nearby Friends goes two ways — you and your friends both have to turn on Nearby Friends and choose to share with each other to see when you’re nearby,” Facebook said in a news release Thursday. “Your friends will only be able to see that you’re nearby if you share this info with them and vice versa.”
According to an in-app description of the Location History option — something that needs to be enabled in order for Nearby Friends to work — Facebook does this by “building a history of your precise location, even when you’re not using the app.” But why is it building this history in the first place?
While it is possible for you to clear your Facebook location history, it does not appear to be something Facebook would like you to do: “Location History helps us know when it makes the most sense to notify you (for example, by making sure we don’t send you a notification every time a Facebook friend who works with you is also in the office).”