The new feature is a lot like Apple’s Find My Friends in that it allows you to share your location with friends and family so you can hopefully get in touch with each other in the real world. Nearby Friends will also send you push notifications to let you know when a group of pals just happen to be close by.
A similar ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature was rolled out by Facebook in 2012 but was quickly pulled, but Facebook swears this Nearby Friends will hit iOS and Android in the next few weeks.
Facebook mentions that the entire feature is opt-in: first you have to turn in on, then you can only see friends’ proximity if you choose to share it with them, and vice versa.
Precise locations can also be shared with friends for set periods of time – like say you just want friends to know where you’re going to be at in the park for the next hour. It can also be turned on and off whenever you want so you don’t have to worry about friends stalking you all week.
Privacy concerns to one side, I like how the feature can be automatic, unlike Find My Friends which needs manual intervention to set alerts.
WhatsApp To Add Voice Calling Later This Year
Alex Heath via TechCrunch:
WhatsApp, the popular messaging service that was recently bought by Facebook, is adding a big feature in a few months: voice calling.
During a keynote at Mobile World Congress, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced that voice calling would be added in the second quarter of this year. The feature will be a free addition to the already free app.
WhatsApp has 465 million monthly active users, which is 15 million more than Facebook. The service’s huge international presence (it’s the largest mobile messaging service in Korea, for example) also helps explain why Facebook paid $19 billion to own it.
Facebook Buying Messaging App WhatsApp for $16 Billion
The company’s app is currently the 35th most popular on the App Store. Facebook says WhatsApp’s messaging volume is “approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume”, roughly 7 trillion message a year.
Facebook obviously consider “approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume” and having access to every user’s mobile number a bargain at $16 Billion. Interesting to watch where they go with their services now..