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Facebook set to end location-based features like Nearby Friends

Facebook is set to discontinue Nearby Friends and other location-based features by the end of May 2022, including deleting details it has gathered using them.

The Meta-owned social media company did not give any reason for ending the features. However, the Nearby Friends feature was introduced to allow Facebook friends to share their locations. It automatically sideloads a Location History feature when it is on, and it is available on Facebook for Android app and iOS devices.

In its statement, Facebook said that it will stop its Nearby Features and Weather alerts and stop collecting information on Location History and Background Location by May 31.

Meanwhile, you can still download location details until August 1, after which the company will erase the data forever.

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Does this mean that your private info is now totally free from the grasp of Facebook? Not really. The company will continue to collect location data from other features, and if you want to stop this, you can go to the location and toggle off the features you don’t want to be running.

Here is how (from the Android app):

  • Tap on your profile picture at the top right of your Facebook home.
  • Open Settings & Privacy.
  • Tap on Privacy shortcuts and choose Manage your location settings.

The new UI explains what each of the location settings you see is supposed to do. Also, when next you want to use a feature, and you have to turn on a location setting that you previously turned off, Facebook will notify you. So, you won’t miss anything important because you toggled off some privacy-compromising features.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.