announced that the close beta period for its location platform Fire Eagle has ended and that the service is now open for everybody. We wrote about Fire Eagle extensively when the beta was first announced. Since then, a number of high-profile services, including Brightkite, Movable Type, Dopplr, and Pownce have implemented Fire Eagle through the numerous APIs Yahoo provides for accessing the service.Yahoo just
When we first wrote about Fire Eagle, we were especially concerned with the privacy implications of sharing your location online. This is especially important because Fire Eagle wants to be a central hub for sharing location information across applications.
However, it is important to note that Yahoo has made privacy a central focus of the platform and right upon sign-up, users are given the option to receive regular emails from Yahoo to see if they are still comfortable with sharing this kind of information. If you do not respond to this email, Yahoo will automatically disable your Fire Eagle account. Yahoo also allows users to turn the service off when they want to keep their location private.
Upon launch, Fire Eagle seems to be having some trouble with keeping up with the sudden rush of new users, as the service was sometimes unable to pinpoint our location. Once it is running smoothly again, we would not be surprised if Fire Eagle could make good on its promise of becoming the central clearinghouse for location services. Already, close to 800 developers are working on applications that make use of Fire Eagle in some form or another.