Today Facebook made a significant announcement regarding the future of their location services. Below is pulled directly from today’s post.
Tag Locations in Posts
Before: You could only “check in” to locations using the Places feature on a smart phone.
Going Forward: Now you can add location to anything. Lots of people use Facebook to talk about where they are, have been or want to go. Now you can add location from anywhere, regardless of what device you are using, or whether it is a status update, photo or Wall post. Of course, you can always choose not to add location at all.
As a part of this, we are phasing out the mobile-only Places feature. Settings associated with it are also being phased out or removed. (You can read more about how location works and settings affected here: http://www.facebook.com/about/location)
This is a significant move on the part of Facebook as it takes them out of emphasizing the check-in game and extends the amount of potential data available ge0-targeted ad placement. Checking in will still be available as part of the platform but the onus is now about appending content with location.
To be direct, Facebook views itself as an advertising platform. With the ability to drive significant impressions and higher than average click-through and engagement, the ability to target advertising is the key revenue driver for Facebook.
By tying location to the past (Share where you have been), present (Share where you are) & future (Share where you are going) model and integrating location with content, the context of the post + location can provide additional relevance to marketers looking to connect and drive behaviors with Facebook’s plethora of users.
How this will potentially integrate with Facebook deals is still unknown. This is a logical shift on Facebook’s part and gets them out of direct competition with the gamified geo-location services while driving additional data to further strengthen their advertising position.
Smart move by Facebook.
Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360