Facebook is making some significant changes to its Nearby Friends feature that lets you see where pals are, Techcrunch has noticed. While the original feature made it easy to check someone’s progress or tell you when they arrive, for instance, it’s also a bit of a privacy nightmare if you forget to turn it off.
Facebook is also ushering in a new feature called Wave, spotted earlier this month by Adweek and others. If you see someone in Nearby Friends, you can send a Wave to let them know you’re around.
Despite losing the map the new tweaks mean that the Nearby Friends feature, which most folks probably don’t even know exists, has gained some prominence on the social network. It’s another way Facebook can make functions seen in other apps– like Down to Lunch, in this case– more useful because of its billion-plus user base.