Industry News

Facebook’s Friendshake and Foe Showdown

Thanks to the new “Find Friends Nearby” feature, initially dubbed “Friendshake”, mobile Facebook fans – both iOS and Android  users – can now identify and connect with friends or strangers who happen to be sharing the same location, according to techcrunch.com.

“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”, 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 “friend request” frenzy, this move is consistent with the platform’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 “find a convict near you” feature might not be necessary, for the moment.

About the author

Ioana Jelea

Ioana Jelea has a disturbing (according to friendly reports) penchant for the dirty tricks of online socialization and for the pathologically mesmerizing news trivia. From gory, though sometimes fake, death reports to nip slips and other such blush-inducing accidents, her repertoire is an ever-expanding manifesto against any Victorian-like frame of thought that puts a strain on online creativity. She would like to keep things simple, but she never does.