Facebook is killing its Nearby Friends feature but still tracks everywhere you go

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Facebook (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Facebook is killing off two features at the end of the month.
  • Nearby Friends will be canceled soon, preventing people from sharing their location with others.
  • Weather alerts will be disabled at the end of the month.

Facebook says that it is killing off two of its location-based features with Nearby Friends and Weather alerts set to be disabled after May 31.

In a message that is being sent out to users, Facebook says that the two features are set to end soon; Nearby Friends allowed people to share their location with others, while the Weather notifications feature is self-explanatory. Both features require location data, however, with Facebook saying that Location History and Background Location data will stop being collected after May 31, according to 9to5Mac.

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.

However, none of this means that Facebook is going to stop following its users around. Instead, it says that location data will continue to be used for other things, although it doesn't say what. Those who want to stop Facebook from tracking them can do so, but they'll need to take additional steps.

No new version of Facebook will be needed for these changes to come into force, but those who want to install Facebook afresh can get it from the App Store (opens in new tab) now.

Facebook isn't saying specifically why it's making these changes. although the company continues to come under scrutiny for the amount of data it collects on its users — it's possible it's simply trying to reduce its exposure to such criticism.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.