Report: Facebook to let users share their locations

Adopting the latest trend in geotagging, Facebook will soon unveil a new feature that will let users tell others where they are, according to Ad Age.

Facebook is reportedly adding a new feature that would let its users share their location in their status updates.

The new location feature, described Friday in a story by Advertising Age, would debut later this month and let people automatically include their current locale in their postings if they choose to do so.

Stung by concerns and complaints about customer privacy and new features that are turned on by default, Facebook is likely to offer the location feature on an opt-in basis, according to Ad Age.

Certainly, many of Facebook's more than 100 million users might find it useful and interesting to tell family and friends where they are. But the major beneficiaries would be marketers and businesses mentioned in the location-based updates.

McDonald's is one such business already seemingly in the works to use the location feature as a way to promote itself, according to another story in Ad Age. The fast-food chain's Facebook app would let users tell people they were at McDonald's, giving the company the opportunity to feature one of its products in the post.

In a further glimpse of the new feature, TechCrunch found a site called touch.facebook.com, which it said is a mobile version of Facebook geared for the iPhone and Android smartphones. In examining the site's JavaScript code, TechCrunch found a tab called Places that is not yet enabled and speculated that this may be the new location feature.

Facebook hasn't revealed any details on the location feature but did confirm its development in a statement Monday to CNET News.

"We have been working on a location feature for a while but don't have immediate plans to announce anything. We'll let you know when we have more details to share."

In response to Ad Age's story, Facebook added: "There are currently no plans to add marketing partners to this product. We may consider working with marketers to enhance the experience in the future, but have no plans to do so at launch."

Using geotagging, other social networks have been building a name for themselves by offering mobile users a way to share their locations as they bounce around different spots. Foursquare may be getting much of the latest buzz, but other sites such as Loopt , Gowalla , and MyTown have been busy building up their memberships. Twitter also offers its own geotagging feature, which can be turned on or off.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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