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Facebook to offer ‘Find Friends Nearby’ app for mobile, reports say

Facebook has built a new app that allows users to easily connect on the social network to people who are in their physical vicinity, TechCrunch reports.

The new feature is called Find Friends Nearby, and if a Facebook user logs into it, he or she is able to see a list of other Facebook users who are in the area and are using the same app.

Facebook hasn’t made any official announcements about the program, but a Facebook engineer named Ryan Patterson told TechCrunch how he foresees people using the product.

“For me, the ideal use case for this product is the one where when you’re out with a group of people whom you’ve recently met and want to stay in contact with. Facebook search might be effective, or sharing your vanity addresses or business cards, but this tool provides a really easy way to exchange contact information with multiple people with minimal friction,” Patterson said.

If you’re eager to test drive the app, several news outlets have reported it’s available by visiting on your smartphone. (It should be noted, however, that attempts by The Washington Post to access the app, once on an Android phone and once on an iPhone, were not successful.)

And if you’re not so keen on the idea of getting a friend request from the random guy standing next to you at the bus stop, fret not. Reports say you have to opt in to use the service to enable others to find you.

This wasn’t the only change to Facebook’s offerings that the blogosphere took notice of Monday.

Forbes noticed that the social network had replaced users’ e-mail addresses on the “Info” or “About” tab of their profiles with an e-mail address. For those who have established a vanity URL for their Facebook pages, that means the e-mail address mirrors their Web domain name. (For example, someone whose Facebook page had the address would be assigned the e-mail address

For those who had not signed up for a custom Web address, the new e-mail address is an apparently random (and undoubtedly hard-to-remember) sequence of numbers.

If you prefer to display the e-mail address that you put in your profile rather than the one that Facebook selected for you, LifeHacker provides some useful and simple instructions for making the change.

More from The Washington Post:

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Facebook quietly rolls out 'Find Friends Nearby' feature

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Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.
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