Thanks to the new â€œFind Friends Nearbyâ€ feature, initially dubbed â€œFriendshakeâ€, mobile Facebook fans – both iOS and AndroidÂ users – can now identify and connect with friends or strangers who happen to be sharing the same location, according to techcrunch.com.
â€œFor me, the ideal use case for this product is the one where when youâ€™re out with a group of people whom youâ€™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 frictionâ€, Facebook engineer Ryan Patterson, co-developer of the new feature, told techcrunch.com.
Though some concerns have been voiced that the feature could be abused by strangers who might get caught up in a â€œfriend requestâ€ frenzy, this move is consistent with the platformâ€™s recent focus on the mobile side of its business with significant new user acquisitions in mind.
On the dark side of things, where location sharing is clearly not the best of ideas, a recent PCWorld report on the Facebook advertised comings and goings of a convicted robber, James Tindell, brings (back) to light the role of social media profiles in law enforcement monitoring. Christina DesMarais, author of the article, notes that Tindell shot himself in the foot when posting a status update stating he was in Alabama at the time, which prompted his probation officer to ask for a nationwide arrest warrant.
Two things jump to the eye here: either the post was public, which made it possible for the officer to spot it effortlessly, or the officer was Facebook friends with the convict. This goes to prove that a â€œfind a convict near youâ€ feature might not be necessary, for the moment.