I have always been told to be careful of using social networking and smartphones by my parents. I had originally thought they were being paranoid, but seeing the vast expanse of new users that simply pay attention to location services and other features on their phone scares me. We found out just in the past few years that the government has the ability to track where we are at any given time and even hear what we are doing by using the little rectangle we keep in our pockets: our cell phone. Facebook’s new update will make this information available to the public and your friends.
Facebook’s new “Nearby Friends” option will now broadcast your location to your friends. Of course it is optional but if you do not care to release your every location at any given point, you would be smart to check and double check your privacy settings on your phones.
Other Facebook updates include the possibility of adding adds to Facebook’s iPhone app, Paper, and it will also include Birthday and event reminders from the main Facebook account.
Although the Paper app updates are actually fairly useful many people may not be a fan of the “Nearby Friends” option. I mean honestly speaking, how hard would it be to call that friend and ask them where they are? Is it necessary to use a map to pinpoint their location?
EDIT: According to a new news release by Cnet on 4/18/14, Facebook has stated it will release this location information even farther than simply your friends. They will release this location history with advertisers, but has not stated when. Facebook is essentially creating a log of your whereabouts and selling this information to advertisers.
Though Facebook is outwardly presenting “Nearby Friends” as a way to facilitate offline get-togethers, it is essentially giving Facebook another way to generate revenue off of the common public majority.