Facebook may already know a lot about our daily habits – where we check in, what we buy, who we hang out with – but it might be on the cusp on knowing exactly where we are in real-time. A new report out of Bloomberg claims that Facebook is working on its own equivalent of Apple’s Find My Friends app – or Google’s Latitude, for the more Android-inclined among us.
Bloomberg’s report suggests that new Facebook app would “track the location of users” and is set to launch in mid-March – but it’s otherwise extremely light on detail. The story neglects to mention that the company rolled the very same thing last June in the form of “Find Friends Nearby” – a hackathon-born mobile feature which the company released and rescinded within hours. And it cites Highlight rather than Facebook-owned Glancee as one of this new(ish) class of constant location tracking apps.
Glancee was all about ambient social geo-data, just like Nearby is all about check-ins. We spoke to Facebook in December about the company’s plans for expanding further into location on mobile – and there’s definitely more on the way this year.
“We spent a lot of 2012 working to improve the foundation of our mobile products,” a Facebook representative told us. “… Nearby positions us well to offer more location aware features on mobile in the new year.”
Building out a mobile app that connects the dots of its existing location service into one continuous stream of real-time user location data seems like a no brainer. But how Facebook plans to sweet talk its billion-plus increasingly cynical users into toggling continuous geo-data on is the real question here. It’s a matter of when and how – not if.
Image by Taylor Hatmaker