Facebook's location tool incoming

Mobile site reveals the juice

Facebook's location tool incoming
TechCrunch has managed to unveil virtual confirmation that Facebook is set to move into location-based territory in the near future.

Though long rumoured, Facebook's attempt to take on MyTown, Foursquare, Gowalla and the like – dubbed Facebook Geo by some – has remained unconfirmed since it was first touted, but TechCrunch has unearthed its planned debut via Facebook's mobile site.

It claims the site's JavaScript code shows a planned new tab to sit alongside the usual profile options simply called Places.

As such, TechCrunch deduces an HTML5 location component is inbound - information snapped from your phone to allow you to check-in wherever you are.

Proof is in the PR

Naturally, those in the location-based services business will want more than TechCrunch's word before they start to panic, but the site believes it's obtained a confirmation of sorts from Facebook itself.

Responding to the site's story, a spokesperson referred to potential marketing deals for the "product" and the service's "launch" - as good as giving the story its seal of approval.

Just how the new Places tab will compete with existing LBS apps – which have been enjoying steady growth across the board – will, of course, have a bearing on just how nervous the current market leaders should be.

Moving in on mobile

Interestingly, the tab is set to monitor a user's altitude, heading and speed as well as latitude and longitude, suggesting Facebook is keen to go above and beyond – quite literally – the set-up already offered by current LBS apps.

The code suggests an iPhone launch is Facebook's priority, with Android and other mobile OSes likely to follow before any desktop debut.

With more than 400 million users, Facebook's entry into LBS has the potential to blow the market's horizons wide open.

[source: TechCrunch]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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