FriendThem Threatens Facebook With Lawsuit Over “Find Friends Nearby” Feature

Filed as News on June 25, 2012 2:25 pm

FriendThem AppFriendThem CEO Charles Sankowich is preparing a lawsuit against Facebook after what he claims was the outright theft of his “Find Friends Nearby” feature.

According to the CEO he spoke with senior Facebook executives about his idea in February 2012. The premise is simple, use GPS signals to track friends and potentially make new friends in nearby locations.

After his dinner with Facebook executives Sankowich says one executive said “I really like this idea.”

Now Facebook is claiming that an employee at the company just happened upon the same premise during a Facebook hackathon. According to a Facebook friend the program at the time was called “Friendshake.”

Sankowich tells Mashable:

“They have to know about Friendthem unless they’ve had their heads in the sand. We’re relevant, we’re necessary and we’re fun.”

Friendthem is available for iOS and Android platforms and allows users to choose what information they share such as their name, profile information, hometown and other info.

If Facebook did in fact steal the location based services idea it would be in direct conflict with their typically acquisition strategy. Typically if Facebook likes a technology such as Friendfeed or Instagram they will either outright buy the company or acquire all of the company’s employees while shutting down the original service.

Do you think Facebook directly ripped off the FriendThem idea?

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