Facebook’s efforts to compete head-on with Snapchat have been incredibly clear thanks to features like Stories. Now, the company is planning to revive its unpopular ‘Nearby Friends’ feature with a new Snapchat-like interface. While the Facebook location sharing feature has never been too popular, the company hopes this redesign could spur new interest.

For those unfamiliar, Snapchat includes a built-in location sharing feature known as Snap Map. This allows users to opt-in to sharing their location and having it displayed on a map for followers to see. The feature has been controversial among some, but it’s one of the few location sharing services to catch on with even some rate of success.

As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook is working on a new design interface for its faltering ‘Nearby Friends’ feature that would display the location of people on a map. Currently, the Facebook location sharing feature simply displays a list of friends, broken down by “nearby” and other locations.

While Snap Map allows you to see incredibly specific friend locations, the Facebook location sharing feature only allows you to see approximate information. As you can see in the below screenshot, the feature shows friend location on a broader scale, showing the cities, but not specific locations within each city.

Facebook confirmed testing of the new interface to TechCrunch and reiterated that people have complete control over whether or not to share their location through Nearby Friends:

“We’re testing a new design for Nearby Friends, a tool people have used for the past four years to meet with their friends in person. People have complete control over whether to use Nearby Friends or not. They can turn it on in the Nearby Friends bookmark.”

Of course, the biggest issue with the Facebook location sharing efforts is the inherent lack of trust between the platform and end-user. We’re guessing the answer is going to be “no,” but do you currently use Facebook’s Nearby Friends feature? Let us know down in the comments.


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Chance Miller

Email: Chance@9to5mac.com

Chance currently writes for both 9to5Google and 9to5Mac, in addition to 9to5Toys.