You may have read about Snapchat’s new feature “Snap Map” that’s making headlines this week for allowing users to see their friends’ location on a map and thus jeopardizing their privacy. Sneakily enough, Facebook also has a similar feature that has been in effect since 2014 that could also be sharing your whereabouts with friends without you even realizing.
The feature is called “Nearby Friends” and it automatically shares the neighborhood you are in with your friends and alerts them when you are close by them. Facebook has said in the past that it uses Nearby Friends to target you with ads and if you choose to share you location with the app, it can drain your phone battery about 0.3 to 0.4% per hour. Yikes!
If you’re not on board with everyone knowing whether you’re home, at the movies or grocery shopping, you can easily turn off the feature by taking the following steps.
- Open the Facebook app on your smart device and click on the menu in the lower right corner of the screen. When the menu opens, click on “Nearby Friends” under the explore tab. You may need to scroll down a bit to see it.
- If you haven’t given the app permission to use your location in the past, you will already be opted out. If not, you will see a screen showing you nearby friends, friends traveling and friends in other locations where you’ve previously lived or visited frequently.
- From there, you can click the gear button in the top right corner and then toggle “Nearby Friends” off. If you’d like to keep you location on for a select group of friends, you can do so by toggling the “Nearby Friends” on and then choosing a group in the “Friends” tab below.