Facebook's Nearby Friends feature in US lets you find and track friends on a map and vice versa

Possibly a little late to the game, though never too late, Facebook's apps have introduced a Find-My-Friends-like feature in the US called Nearby Friends. But the company has repeatedly stressed one thing about this new feature: it's optional.

"Nearby Friends is an optional feature. You can choose who can see if you’re nearby (for example: your friends, close friends, or a specific friends list) and you can turn it on and off at any time," announced Facebook in a blog post on its Newsroom hub. "Nearby Friends will be available on Android and iPhone in the US over the coming weeks."

Nearby Friends does exactly what you think it does; it helps you see who on your friends' list is currently nearby or on the go. Simply turn on the feature, and then you'll receive notifications whenever a friend is near your shared location. But it's optional. That means you can turn off Nearby Friends if you don't want to be found or don't want to receive notifications.

In fact, Facebook said Nearby Friends "goes two ways". You and a friend need to share locations with each other, then turn on the Nearby Friends feature, and of course choose to share within Nearby Friends. If you don't do these few things, your friend won't be able to see you...and you won't be able to see him or her. Plain and simple.

READ:Apple adds revamped location alerts to Find My Friends for advanced stalking

Facebook has built in some adjustments tools too. You can choose to share a precise location with a particular friend, and you can designate a set period of time. Imagine, for instance, that you are on a lunch break and want to meet up with your girlfriend. You can share a precise location with only her for just your lunch break, and then only she will be able to quickly find you on a map during that hour.

And finally, Facebook said Nearby Friends lets you see when friends are traveling. They can share what city they are visiting, and then you can send them tourist recommendations for that city or plan to meet up with them. The possibilities are endless - and, again, optional.