Facebook says goodbye to nearby friends and other built-in location features

“Because you have already used Nearby Friends, Weather Alerts, Location History, or Background Location, we are informing you that these products and features will no longer be available after May 31, 2022,” the Facebook notification reads.

Beginning last Thursday, Facebook began sending out notifications informing users of the end of “nearby friends” and other location-enabled features. “Because you have already used Nearby Friends, Weather Alerts, Location History, or Background Location, we are informing you that these products and features will no longer be available after May 31, 2022,” the notification reads. Even if previously enabled, information shared for this type of experience will be removed from Facebook’s servers. All associated data will also be deleted and available for download by August 1, 2022. This will all affect both Android and iOS devices.

This does not mean that the platform will stop accumulating data related to the location of users. As stated in the official note, “Facebook collects location information for other experiences as described in our data policy. However, it is possible to intervene via the privacy settings.

Nearby friend removal and other features just come from low utility. While similar products, such as Snap Map from Snapchat and Find My Friends from Apple, have seen steady growth, Facebook has seen a steep decline in Nearby Friends usage. In addition, fewer and fewer people use the Meta app to find out today’s weather. If you fill in Facebook’s unreliability regarding data retention, that explains why fewer and fewer users are using these location-based products.

The Nearby Friends feature was created by the Facebook app in 2014, to allow people to have live meetings with other mutual friends near their real-time location. A way also to create a map of places generated by the user during his free time. The deletion communicated by Facebook can therefore only be appreciated, but this does not detract from the centrality of data collection in the social network economy.

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