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June 26, 2012

Facebook pulls ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature after just one day

The social network has pulled the plug on its quietly launched ‘Find Friends Nearby’ app.

By Tineka Smith

Facebook app

After launching an app that allows users to find other Facebook members nearby the social network quickly pulled the app after privacy concerns.

After the app launched bloggers and twitterers nicknamed it the ‘stalking app’ due to its ability to track other users.

The app was able to locate Facebook users in areas nearby using geo-location and then show them in a list on the app.

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

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 had 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."

Facebook’s said in a statement that the app was just a test and was not a formal release.

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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.

More than half of the social network’s 900 million users access the site predominantly through mobile.

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