Nearby Friends Maps Your Friends Via Facebook Places

Developers are continuing to experiment with Facebook Places, with a mapping application called Nearby Friends one of the latest tools to emerge since the release of the public API.

The Nearby Friends app lets you see your friends on a map, based on their location information from checking into Facebook Places. It has 3,331 monthly active users so far and is rated 2.8 out of 5. (Some of the negative reviews predate the developers fixing a major bug in the service at the end of August).

It’s a pretty simple idea and although there is nothing stopping anyone from launching something similar, Matt Hodan, the Nearby Friends developer, is likely hoping for first-mover advantage. The main problem with it so far is that Places penetration and usage is not very high so there is not a lot of data to populate the map. I imagine if I started using the app, I’d be seeing a pretty empty map, since Places has only launched in the US so far and my Facebook friends are scattered around the world. However, I think that once more people are using Places, this could be quite a useful tool. I’m a visual person and would find it helpful to me to see information from Places displayed in map form.