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June 25, 2012

Facebook launches new mobile feature ‘Find Friends Nearby’

The social network has quietly launched an app that allows users to find other Facebook members nearby.

By Tineka Smith

According to TechCrunch the app locates Facebook users in the area using geo-location and them shows the users in a list.

Users can also add and locate new users at the same events without having to search for names.

The new feature is currently available for web use as well as iOS and Android devices.

"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 Engineer, Ryan Patterson told TechCrunch. "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."

To use the feature Facebook members need to be logged into Facebook and also in to the feature’s URL. Users can be their own friends as well as other people they may not know.

The new feature comes almost two months after Facebook’s acquisition Glancee. Glancee is a socially-based location app designed to connect friends. Whether Facebook’s new app has been created from Glancee is still unknown.

Mobile has been a tough area for the social network. The company said in its original Security Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it depends too much upon mobile operating systems and networks that the company cannot control, which puts its apps at risk of being shut out by mobile competitors.

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More than half of the social network’s 900 million users access the site predominantly through mobile. The Facebook CEO admitted the company’s relatively weak position in mobile to shareholders ahead of its IPO and has shifted most of its focus on mobile applications and advertising.

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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