« View: 4 calls to action for the Miami tech community | Main | WebCongress planning first -- but not last -- Miami event »

The creepiest Facebook Messages feature you don’t know

In honor of the holiday, a guest post! Happy Halloween, everyone!

NateBy Nathan Mendenhall

Because Halloween is the creepiest time of year, I thought I would shed some light on a particularly unnerving feature that is found in Facebook Messages that you probably don’t know about. There is a way for people that you have conversations, with via Facebook Message on a mobile device, to find out your exact location if you have location settings enabled. If you go into your messages dashboard and look at an individual conversation, you might notice a small gray location icon. This icon indicates the person you are messaging with has their location settings enabled for Facebook on their phone.

 

Pic1

Now, here is the creepy part. If you click that icon, a small pop up will appear with a mini map displaying a location icon in the approximate area of the person you are messaging.

Pic2

Wait, it gets better. The pop up features a “Get Directions” button and when clicked, Bing does a search for directions to the approximate location where Facebook has geo-targeted the person. So in essence, you can find the approximate area (down to the street) of anyone who you have interacted with in a Facebook message that has location settings enabled.

Pic3

With more and more people accessing Facebook via mobile and fewer and fewer people knowing how to secure their privacy online, this could become a problem.  I would recommend disabling your location settings and not engaging in lengthy conversations via message with people you don’t know. It’s a crazy world out there these days, you can never be too careful.

Does this feature worry you? Let us know in the comment section below.

 Nathan Mendenhall is a social media strategist at THAT Agency in West Palm Beach, Florida. He specializes in social media strategies for small business.

 

Comments