Facebook is now in the testing stages of a significant redesign of its Friends Nearby feature that looks just like Snap Map.
Facebook’s revised maps feature may help marketers improve their reach when targeting audiences by urging more users to share their locations with friends, giving the social network more granular location data. Instagram and Facebook Messenger, have a successful track record of improving upon features copied from Snapchat, especially “stories” that bring together several images and videos into a single post that disappears after 24 hours.
Perhaps the reason for this redesign is that Facebook want to drive engagement amongst a younger audience who are increasingly slipping away to the likes of Snapchat and Instagram. If this move proves popular and sees more users sharing their real-time locations then this could open a plethora of opportunities for local ad targeting. However, one of the things that these location apps haven’t worked out is that meeting with friends isn’t about their location but about their availability instead.
At Xanda we believe that for these types of features to become popular they need to include an availability indicator just like there is on Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct.