Facebook quietly removes 'test' friend-finding feature

Since it was discovered yesterday, Facebook has removed a feature that let users find other users near their location, whether they were "friends" or not.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Facebook has quietly removed a controversial feature that would let users on mobile devices find other Facebook users nearby, even if they weren't friends with them on the popular social network.

That feature, which Facebook said it was "testing" with users in a roll-out yesterday, became the topic of controversy earlier today when a company called Friendthem accused Facebook of stealing the idea. In a release provided to CNET and other outlets, Friendthem's CEO said the company was mulling a lawsuit.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the removal of the feature. In an earlier statement, the company said the feature was not "a formal release," and instead was something "a few engineers were testing."

"With all tests, some get released as full products, others don't," the company said.

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