Facebook is working on an app for smartphones that will be able to track people’s location. This was reported by two company insiders. With this application, Facebook will try to effectively use and benefit from the mobile social networking trend.
The giant is said to introduce the app around March 15th. Its purpose is to help users track friends who are near them. Sources claim that the application will be able to work even when the program on the phone is closed. In addition, according to them, Facebook still haven’t made its project open to the public.
The social network will add a new function. In that way it will try to profit from its mobile users who are continuing to rise and are now over 1 billion. Also, the application may help the company to sell ads that use the location and the habits of FB users. However, the app may be seen as something worrying by consumers and privacy supporters who believe that Facebook is giving away personal information of its users.
European and U.S. regulators are already watching the company closely. That is due to the opinions that the social website is not protecting private data. Google and Apple have programs that are similar to FB’s tracking app.
Product directors Peter Deng is heading the team that is working on the application. Six years ago, he had worked for Google. In the rest of the team consists of location-tracking Facebook startup that was bought in May, location-based social platform Gowalla acquired two years ago and Glancee engineers.
Yesterday, Facebook dropped with 5.5% to 428.11 in New York. After closing on September 4th, the stock has jumped with 59%.
FB Mobile Products
On January 30th, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, highlighted the need for new mobile products. He said that in 2012, the company tried to make its mobile development process better. According to Zuckerberg, now the company will focus on creating new mobile experiences.
GPS coordinated of Facebook users are already tracked by the social network when they publish photos, posts or check-in some location. The tracking application will allow Facebook the whereabouts of its users. The app will run on Apple’s iOS and it will be able to work even if the other apps on the handset or the handset itself are not working.
But to follow Apple’s rules for developers, Facebook will first need to ask for their users’ permission and then track them. However, the social website may have already received a green light from its consumers. How? There was no need of green line never before…
The data-use policy of the platform informed users that Facebook can use the location information and share it with the user and the user’s FB friends. In addition, in the policy, the company points out that tracking can be used for deal offerings that are relevant to the user. Websites such as perfectmatch.com, datingdirect.com and eharmony.com may also benefit.
Facebook already uses the GPS information of its consumers and compares it to other location data it has collected. According to the data-use policy, the social network keeps it until it finds it that it is no longer useful for FB services including notifications and GPS coordinates storing.
There are other applications that track user’s whereabouts in order they can find their friends or places that may interest them. These are, for example, Highlight by Math Camp and Find My Friends developed by Apple. However, a big part of them have not become very popular due to privacy concerns and the high battery consumption of these apps.