Facebook is testing a new design for its ‘Nearby Friends’ feature, drawing heavily on Snapchat’s ‘Snap Map’ in appearance and functionality.
The new look replaces a list of towns and cities with friends in, instead showing a map with profile pictures placed in approximate locations.
A screenshot was unveiled by researcher and tipster Jane Manchun Wong, who also accessed early Facebook Dating code.
TechCrunch’s Josh Constine argues that friends lists on Facebook contain too many acquaintances and family members to make real time location sharing appealing.
There is also no way to indicate availability – proximity is not necessarily an indicator of a willingness to meet up, so this may need to be rethought in a final version. Constine suggests integrating the feature with a user-selected emoji.
Snap Map usage has been steadily declining since 2017, with only around 10% of Snapchat’s active user base sharing their avatar on the feature.
Snap’s stock has also been in decline, as the innovative platform struggles against competition from Instagram.
Many of the executives around Evan Spiegel have left in the past 12 months, including #2 Imran Khan last month.
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