How Does Facebook Nearby Friends Work?


In 2014, Facebook launched a Nearby Friends feature that lets you see approximately how far you are from your Facebook friends. It also lets them see how far they are from you (in KMs). With this feature, you can share your exact location (and as you move) for a limited time.

Facebook Nearby Friends can only work if both parties have it turned on. This means if you wouldn’t like your location (or location history) to be shared with friends, you can choose to turn it on or off. And vice-versa – you won’t be able to see the location of friends who have turned off theirs.

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The nearby friends feature is only available for Android and iOS devices. And for it to work, you should turn on Location Services and Background Location on your device.

If the feature is turned on, you’d see a Nearby Friends list that shows the distance away from anyone you’re sharing proximity with. In many cases, especially if you’re in a big city, it shows the exact neighborhood they are in at a particular moment.

We’d show you in this post how to turn the Facebook Nearby Friends feature on or off. This will be for only Android and iOS devices.

READ MORE: How to Connect Your Facebook Page to Instagram Business Account [+ What Happens When You Do].

Turn Facebook Nearby Friends Feature On or Off

Turn Nearby Friends On/Off (iOS)

Follow the steps below to turn this feature on or off if you’re using an iOS device.

  • Turn on Location Services and set access to Always on your iOS device.
  • Tap the hamburger icon from your Facebook homepage. This icon is located at the bottom right corner.
Facebook optons button
  • Select Nearby Friends.
Facebook nearby friends
  • Select Settings.
Facebook nearby friends
  • Toggle the button just in front of Nearby Friends to turn on or off.
Facebook nearby friends

Turn Nearby Friends On/Off (Android)

If you’re using a Facebook on an Android device, follow the steps below to turn Facebook Nearby Friends on or off.

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menu options on FB
  • Select Nearby Friends.
nearby friends facebook
  • Tap on Get Started.
get started with nearby friends
  • Select who to share location with and tap on Turn On.
share location
  • To turn off, select the Settings icon in front of your profile name, choose Turn Off Nearby Friends, select Turn Off Nearby Friends again.
turn off nearby friends facebook

Facebook Nearby Friends lets you decide if you want to share your location with all your friends, or just a segment of them. This gives you total control over who sees your location using this feature at any point in time.

Have you used the Nearby Friends feature before? Was it useful for you? Please let us know what your experience with it was like. If you haven’t, you should probably try turning it on and taking it for a spin. Also, do let us know what you think about it when you do.


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