Facebook Rolls Out Location-Sharing Feature

Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are nearby using a new feature. 

The "Nearby Friends" feature must be turned on by the user, so people shouldn't expect to broadcast their location unknowingly. It will use your smartphone's GPS system to tell your Facebook friends you are nearby - provided they have the feature turned on as well. Rather than share your exact location, it will show only that you are nearby, say, within half a mile.

If you like, you can manually share a more precise location with a specific friend you'd like to meet up with. Friends can see where you're located in a particular park, airport or city block. By default, your exact location will be shared for only an hour, although you can change this.

Nearby Friends launches amid the growing popularity of location-based mobile dating apps such as Tinder and Hinge. But unlike those apps, Facebook's feature will let you meet up only with people who are already your friends.

Facebook, whose motto has long been "move fast and break things," built a lot of precautions in this new tool as it tries to avoid privacy fiascos that often bubble up when it makes changes to its service.

(Associated Press)

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