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Facebook to discontinue feature that let your friends track your location in real time

Facebook is also planning to discontinue other location-based features, which includes location history, Weather alerts and background location features.

Updated:Fri, May 06, 2022 4:44pm

By Shweta Ganjoo

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Facebook had introduced the Nearby Friends feature on it platform back in April 2014. Explaining the feature at the company, the company had said, "If you turn on Nearby Friends, you'll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up." Now, roughly eight years later, the company has decided to pull the plug on the feature.

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Multiple user reports on Twitter show that Facebook has started showing messages to users notifying them about the feature getting discontinued starting May 31, 2022. In addition to this, the company has also started informing users that it is discontinuing other location-based features, which includes location history, Weather alerts and background location features.

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"Nearby Friends and Weather Alerts will no longer be available after May 31, 2022. Information you shared that was used for these experiences, including Location History and Background Location, will stop being collected after May 31, 2022, even if you have previously enabled them," the message reads.

Furthermore, the message says, "You can access and download your Location History until August 1, 2022, in Access Your Information. After August 1, 2022, any Location History or Background Location information you've previously shared will be deleted."

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But there is a catch. Facebook says that even after these features have been discontinued, it will continue using location information for 'other experiences' as described in its data policy. According to Facebook's data policy, it location data is collected when users use a feature on its platform. For instance, if you share a check-in or an image and tag a location in its, the company will collect this data. "We collect the content, communications and other information you provide when you use our Products, including when you sign up for an account, create or share content, and message or communicate with others. This can include information in or about the content you provide (like metadata), such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created," company says in its data policy.

In addition to this, it also collects information that users allow the company to receive "through device settings you turn on, such as access to your GPS location, camera or photos." Of course, you can limit this access by turn off the location settings within the app and as a part of your phone's privacy settings.

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