Facebook to stop ‘Nearby Friends’, weather alerts and other location-based features from June


Facebook has begun informing users that its ‘Nearby Friends’, weather alerts, location history and other location-based features will no longer be available after the end of the month, according to 9to5Mac. The company hasn’t stated the exact reason behind the discontinuation of these features but it does claim that all user information related to these features will be deleted from Facebook’s servers.

Facebook users have been getting a notification in the Facebook mobile app about the end of these features. Nearby friends is a feature that lets people share their current location with their Facebook friends.

The social media giant also announced that users will be able to access and download their background location data and location history till August 1, 2022. After this date, all such collected data will be deleted permanently, according to the company.

While Meta hasn’t revealed the exact reason it is going through with this move that is aimed at the minimisation of user data collection, it could be due to the increased scrutiny it’s facing from various governments and watchdogs over its user data collection practices.

In February this year, Meta had threatened to remove Facebook and Instagram from EU countries if it wasn’t allowed to transfer data to the United States and back. This move came after EU regulators pressurised the social media company to stop the transatlantic transfer of data after it was found that these data transfers don’t protect users from American government snooping.

In April, the European Union had finalised the details for the Digital Services Act which puts many restrictions on how tech giants like Facebook, Google and others deal with the moderation of content and user data, among other things on their platforms.

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