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Facebook Developing Friend Finder Mobile App

Facebook GPSFacebook is reportedly developing a tracker app which can locate a user’s Facebook friends on a map by locking onto their mobile signal.

The development of the proposed service, which tracks users and shares their location with friends who also have the app, was announced by mass media corporation Bloomberg earlier today.

Facebook already have two similar services that track the user’s location using their mobile device: Facebook Nearby, which discovers venues near the user, and Facebook Places, which allows users to tag themselves in locations – both features combined provide a similar service to Foursquare.

Not only could the proposed app, which is due to be released in mid-March, put Facebook in further competition with Foursquare, it could also challenge Apple’s Find My Friends, a similar tracking service specific to iOS devices which relies on information provided by Apple Maps and the contacts list.

A Facebook tracking app would have a clear advantage over its Apple equivalent, however, as it would be able to locate the user’s Facebook friends, not just their contacts who also own an iOS device.

When switched on, the app will run in the background even when not open, meaning that users can be tracked at any time. Having the app running constantly, however, would drain the battery at an relatively fast rate.

There are concerns raised over what Facebook could do with location data: Facebook’s data-use policy says that the site can “tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in”.

Theoretically then, Facebook could sell location information gathered by the app to online marketers, who could use it to target users with ads based on their daily habits, or target friends with group offers. For example, a restaurant could send an offer to two friends who often meet for lunch nearby.

“When we get your GPS location, we put it together with other location information we have about you (like your current city),” reads the policy.“But we only keep it until it is no longer useful to provide you services, like keeping your last GPS coordinates to send you relevant notifications.”
When Bloomberg asked for confirmation of the app, Derick Mains, a Facebook spokesman, declined to comment.

How useful do your think a location tracking app would be to Facebook marketers?

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Will Sigsworth

Follow us @SocialMediaF & @WillAtSMF

Facebook Developing Friend Finder Mobile App Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, February 05, 2013 Rating: 5
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