Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Facebook Rolls Out 'Stalker App' to Locate Friends Nearby

Facebook has quietly rolled out a new feature designed to locate other users nearby in what appears to be the newly public company's latest push into the mobile sphere.

The new tool -- dubbed "Friendshake," "Find Friends Nearby," or, by some who fear it gives too much information to strangers, the "stalker app" -- became available Monday on Facebook's mobile apps and website, despite no official announcement. 

The service comes nearly two months after the social networking behemoth acquired Glancee, a mobile app that helps users find people near them with similar interests. It is unclear whether Friendshake is built on the same technology.

Facebook developer Ryan Patterson, who said he helped develop the feature, explained in a comment on TechCrunch, which broke the story Sunday, that he hopes the product will be used to quickly connect new acquaintances.

"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," he wrote. "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."

A Facebook spokeswoman said that, though the feature went live on Monday, it was an engineering test, not a formal release.

"With all tests, some get released as full products, others don't," she wrote in an email to TheWrap. "Nothing more to say on this for now."

Also read: Facebook Acquires Facial Recognition Startup Face.com

Earlier this month, Facebook made another push into mobile when it acquired Face.com, an Israel-based facial recognition startup that already powered its Photo Finder and Photo Tagger apps. 

The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Face.com's recognition software would ever be integrated with new Friendshake feature.


Source: http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/facebook-rolls-out-stalker-app-locate-friends-nearby-45466

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