Freaky Facebook Find Friends Nearby Feature Folds
Facebook Quietly Releases 'Find Friends Nearby' Then Quietly Pulls It; CNN calls it "Stalking App" for Facebook
MENLO PARK, CA - In a move that has become all too familiar for some Facebook users, the large publicly traded social network company released a new feature Monday ... then pulled it after a backlash from users over privacy concerns. Facebook has said the release was only a test and not an official release.
The service that was briefly made available is known as Friendshake. The service uses the GPS on your smartphone to find the people around you who are on Facebook so you can easily add them as "Friends."
This is not the first time Facebook has faced charges of not caring too much about the privacy of their users. They recently settled a privacy lawsuit case for $10 million over their Sponsored Stories feature.
Big media called it "creepy," (LA Times) "half-cool & half-freaky," (Gizmodo) and a stalking app for Facebook (CNN). To be fair to CNN, they grabbed their headline from the blog ReadWriteWeb who dubbed the feature a "stalking app" because of the way it was rolled out to users, letting potential strangers know a person's location if they used the service.
When contacted, a Facebook spokesperson told Wired: “This wasn’t a formal release — this was just something that a few engineers were testing. With all tests, some get released as full products, others don’t. Nothing more to say on this for now, but we’ll communicate to everyone when there is something to say.”