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Facebook's New GPS Mobile Feature

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Facebook's New GPS Mobile Feature


February 05, 2013

By Ashley Caputo, TMCnet Web Editor

Mobility is changing the way industries operate, from healthcare to social media, and their Web-based appearance. Even social media networking guru Facebook (News - Alert) has been forced to undergo mobile reconstruction of the company.

Taking its marketing platform and mobile capabilities one step further, Facebook is creating a new smartphone application that will track a user’s location, which will help sell advertisements based on location and daily habits. This new marketing revelation has already reached mobile app companies like Singapore-based YPS and Sprooki, which created an application to help retailers engage with shoppers.

The YPS-enabled application a mobile device will first verify the GPS coordinates to identify the building the user is in. When combined with YPS, Sprooki is enabled to not only help retail stores market to their clients, but rather pitch them their products based on the shoppers bodily movements around the store. The Sprooki application will be able to monitor whether a shopper stands near a shoe rack or T-shirt collection, and allows retailers to market to each individual.   

Along with new marketing techniques, the new data-use policy informs users that the company many use information about their locations “to tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in,” Facebook said. It may also be used to send user’s notifications about any related information their areas.

Mobility is the new way of the world, and even chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg (News - Alert) believes it is an important development for companies, especially a social media website like Facebook.

“A lot of what we had to do last year was simply to improve our mobile development process,” Zuckerberg said. “The next thing we’re going to do is get really good at building new mobile-first experiences.”

Although Facebook has already had the GPS coordinates feature, which allows users to post their locations or check into a venue from their phone, the new feature will be constantly tracking their locations in the “background” of Apple’s (News - Alert) operating system.

This new GPS feature, while it adds to the mobile experience of a user, it may be crossing a fine line of privacy that users want to maintain despite how public social media has made their lives.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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