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Facebook updates 'Nearby' service for iOS, Android apps

The function shows users local businesses and other nearby spots their Facebook friends have liked, checked into or rated.

Facebook updated the "Nearby" function in its iOS and Android apps with new social features that highlight local spots favored by friends on the social network.

Prior to the update, the Nearby tab in the app would simply list nearby businesses and landmarks for users to check into. Once the update has rolled out, however, that list will be sorted by "relevancy" based in part on the feedback a user's Facebook friends have provided via likes, ratings and check-ins.

The feature is also supposed to make it easier for users to share their own recommendations with Facebook friends. Facebook is pitching Nearby to companies as a way to attract walk-in business -- assuming, of course, they already have a Facebook Page with location enabled.

Facebook found itself in hot water earlier this year when it tested a similar geolocation-enabled feature that allowed users to locate their nearby Facebook friends. The social network disabled that function shortly after another company complained that Facebook had stolen its idea.