Every fortnight or so, Facebook receives a minor update to fix bugs and make stalking that bit easier. Lag stopping you from trawling your crush’s timeline? There’s an update for that. Those shirtless/bikini shots not loading properly? An update has you covered. But every once in a while, the Californian social network releases a game changing update: one that revolutionises the way we feed our obsessions and voyeurism…
That update is coming to our shores soon in the form of Nearby Friends, and it will likely have a greater impact on life than the printing press or the 3D printer. It’s a new feature which lets users broadcast their general location – not as a status update, but on a map in real time. Similar to using Google Maps, the feature uses your phone’s GPS and network capabilities to determine your location and check if you’re in the same neck of the woods as any of your buddies.
Speaking to Mashable about the new feature, Facebook Product Manager Andrea Vaccari said he is “curious to see how people are going to use it.” Let’s not beat around the bush, buddy. We all know how we’re going to use it.
If you’re not keen for your friends to know you’re visiting the Donut King for the fifth time this week, fear not. Nearby Friends is completely optional, and for those who opt in, it’s very customisable as well. You can decide who sees your location and for how long, your location will only be narrowed down with about a kilometre, and the feature can be turned on or off at any time. Honestly, though, why would you pass up a chance to be notified that your crush is at the beach? You can then rush down there, act like you “had no clue” you’d run into them, and then make those shirtless/bikini shots a reality. You could even take your own photos.*
*Tip: Don’t take your own photos.
Written by VINCENT VARNEY. Follow him on Twitter.