Facebook's geolocation set-up due to launch within weeks

Facebook's geolocation set-up due to launch within weeks
The suggestion that the launch of Facebook's geolocation set-up may be just weeks away is likely to catch the attention of many a location based start-up.

However, fears that the social network has designs on blowing them out of the water now appear unfounded. 

Indeed, according to CNET, not only is the new feature closer to release than many had anticipated, it also appears it's been designed to welcome, rather than ostracise, existing efforts from the likes of Foursquare, MyTown and Gowalla.

The website claims the check-in feature will take the form of an API, enabling third-parties on the Facebook developer platform to embed their location-based software into the social network's set-up.

Getting a fix on FacebookConcerns that Facebook was planning to take on the leagues of LBS apps already on the market were fuelled by its reluctance to discuss the venture.

The firm has offered little comment on its position ever since Facebook Places was first muted in the press at the start of the year.

However, the company has now confirmed that product integration for its new location-based features is currently in the works, with a launch planned in the coming months.

Backing away

It's certainly not the move many had anticipated, with many commentators having feared for existing LBS apps given the social network's 400 million plus userbase.

Sources suggest Facebook was close to signing a deal to buy Foursquare back in June, those behind the app rejecting the move in favour of a new round of venture capitalist funding.

As such, rather than risk taking on the comparatively small but nonetheless expanding bunch of apps already on the market, Facebook appears to have decided to weave its way into geolocation by encouraging said apps to blend their networks with its own.

If true, it could give Facebook a major stake in the location market, as well as giving LBS apps greater exposure to the social network's sizeable userbase.

Talk suggests business listings directory Localeze – said to have signed a deal with Facebook at the start of the summer– will provide the database for the venture.

[source: CNET]

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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