TechCrunch reported that Facebook is rolling out a tool that will allow users to find friends and other contacts nearby.

A report from TechCrunch detailed a new tool available to Facebook users that will help them locate friends and other contacts close to their physical locations. For those using social media marketing, the feature could help encourage prospects to join their nearby friends at stores and other businesses. According to the article, the feature was initially dubbed Friendshake internally. However, the mobile rollout has been renamed to Find Friends Nearby and is currently in the process of rolling out to Facebook app users.

Providing users with the ability to see which of their contacts are in their vicinity will help Facebook offer a local element to its massive network. TechCrunch reported that Facebook’s acquisition of Glancee, an app that offered a similar service, is likely the cause of the rollout, since the company now has the capability to offer the tool effectively.

While the feature is not available for marketers and brands using the platform of social media marketing, the intensified local focus of Facebook could soon spell more options for businesses active on the site to reach nearby shoppers.

Local developments on Facebook have been minimal for the most part, but Brafton recently highlighted the pending rollout of a mobile ad service from Facebook that will serve paid content based on the user’s location.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.