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Stalk-tease: Facebook Launches 'Friends Nearby,' Then Pulls It
By: Christine Geraci
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Facebook subtly launched a new "Friends Nearby" app and then apparently killed it with a silencer and a pillow. And fittingly so, since this straight up would have been — and will be, if Facebook ultimately does launch it — a stalker's dream come true. 
 
"Friends Nearby" let you search the Facebook profiles of users within close proximity to you. The idea here is not to connect with current friends, but to make new ones. Or, you know, engage in an appropriate form of voyeurism. But I kid. 
 
Seriously though, a couple of observations: "Friends Nearby" was actually an opt-in service, which is rare for Facebook. Usually, Facebook just automatically enrolls you and you have to go in and turn the darn thing off, whatever that "thing" may be. So good job on making this voluntary. After all, Facebook had enough privacy gripes on their hands.
 
Second, this app seems to blatantly rip off the "Nearby" stream from the folks over at Google+. (Remember them?) Could it be that Facebook actually stole an idea from a social network it brushed off as insignificant? Maybe. Or perhaps Facebook took its cue from any one of these location-based apps for online dating. Perhaps we'll never know for sure.
 
Regardless, the world's largest social network is clearly trying to go all location-based, and/or just toying with the idea of helping the eager psychotic masses get their stalk on. 
 
But on a more positive note, the world's largest social network has now made it possible for you to connect with potential customers and/or grow your online community on a hyper-local level. And that's pretty powerful.
 
Would you enable "Friends Nearby" on Facebook if it becomes available again?


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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