App Lets You Know When Friends Are Nearby
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Date posted: 01/08/2010
Posted by: Site Administration
This story is from the category
Life

The location-based applications Foursquare and Gowalla--which reward users with points for "checking in" at different places--are all the rage in some social groups. But many other people balk at sharing their precise location and struggle to see the point of doing so. A new location-based application for mobile phones called face2face hopes to attract new types of users by offering more filtered, useful information and providing more privacy controls.

"Location is more a platform than it is a particular service," says Hameed Khan, CEO and lead developer of face2face. In other words, simply sharing location information isn't enough--it also needs to be incorporated into a useful application. His application doesn't require people to sign up to a new social network in order to use it. Instead, users can tap into their connections on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter--then see if any of their connections are nearby.

Unlike some services, which bombard users with the location of everyone in their social network, face2face only notifies users when a contact is nearby, and it does not give out that contact's exact location. This is a subtle difference, but an important one, according to Khan. "We want to look just at what's within walking distance, so oversharing doesn't ruin it," he says.

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