Now, Facebook is Testing a Map which Shows Nearby Friends’ Locations

A new Facebook Nearby Friends Map is showing up for some users, pinpointing where their online connections are in real-time…

One area where Facebook has largely failed in helping its users connect offline. It did offer a feature about three years ago, in 2015, location sharing. But, Facebook Nearby Friends has never really been a hit. In fact, very few people even turn it on (or know it exists).

Facebook Nearby Friends Map in Testing

Competitor Snapchat launched Snap Map last year in June. It geo-tagged connections for Stories. But, that was more about fun than actually finding others to personally meet up with.

Now, Facebook is testing a similar tool, with a redesign of Nearby Friends. (Not surprisingly, it looks a lot like Snap Map.) Rather than the current list view, it shows neighborhoods and cities. Tapping a “View list” button opens the former home screen, which is odd.

Although, the map only displays approximate locations and not exact coordinates. Facebook tells TechCrunch

“We’re testing a new design for Nearby Friends, a tool people have used for the past four years to meet with their friends in person. People have complete control over whether to use Nearby Friends or not. They can turn it on in the Nearby Friends bookmark.”

The likely reason for this sudden change is Facebook’s current state. Users just aren’t sharing as much original content. And, younger users are ditching the social network for rival Snapchat or even for subsidiary Instagram.

Also, getting people to share their locations means more targeted local advertising, which helps generate more revenue to the social corporation. So, it’s entirely sensible from a business point of view to tinker with this experiment.

Ashley Lipman

Ashley Lipman is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.