Facebook Testing New “Find Friends Nearby” Mobile Feature That Could Make Business Cards Obsolete

Facebook has been getting busy on the mobile front recently, and its latest move is aimed at hooking people up in the real world and removing the friction of staying in touch with people you have just met. ‘Find Friends Nearby’ is slowly being rolled out and is now live on mobile versions of the site, iOS and Android apps.

This is a spin out of the app Friendshake that Facebook acquired a few months ago; the acquired team of three working on rolling this out. Rather than replicate current technology which helps show which of your current friends are nearby (like Facebook’s own check-in feature), this is aimed at helping you to friend people when you are out and about using Facebook on your mobile.

Think of meeting a girl in a bar or being at a conference where we currently go through the clunky process of sharing phone numbers or business cards. This app will allow people to add new friends on Facebook with two simple clicks as well as viewing who in the same place you are.

The app is clearly only being tested and fits under Facebook’s policy of shipping products before they are fully defined or ready. The functionality is buried in Menu > Apps > Find Friends > Other tools > Find friends nearby and both people need to be signed up to use it for it to fully work. You can expect Facebook to start rolling this out into a more public part of the app and having it front and center for us all to use.

The one worry that I would have is that I don’t want to add everybody as a friend on Facebook given the full access to my private information they would have. This is probably going to be used more in a consumer market setting rather than a business sense, but it’s an interesting step into location based services on mobile from Facebook.

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