Facebook has created a new feature using your phone’s GPS to speed up the process of adding friends you’ve just made in the real world. But the company hasn’t really announced it yet.
The feature, which is called Find Friends Nearby, shows you users nearby who also have it open, using either a mobile browser or Facebook’s iOS or Android apps.
To access the feature, go to the URL https://fb.com/ffn; or, on your phone’s app, go to the menu sidebar, scroll down to Find Friends, and touch Find Friends Nearby.
Find Friends Nearby is clearly a great option for when you meet new people at parties, conferences or other social gatherings, making it easier for people to home in on your profile rather than wade through all the other users on Facebook who share your name.
Originally, the feature was called Friendshake, according to TechCrunch, which broke the news Sunday.
Find Friends Nearby was demonstrated this weekend at an event in San Francisco by one of the Facebook engineers who created the feature. The engineer, Ryan Patterson, urged those in attendance to spread the news about it.
And while Facebook declined to comment on the feature, Patterson posted a comment on TechCrunch’s story saying he and another engineer created Find Friends Nearby as a “hackathon” project.
“For me, 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,” Patterson’s comment said. “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.”