The social network is creating an app for smartphones that would track the user’s location.
According to two people who have knowledge of the development of a new app at Facebook, the social network will be using a new app for mobile marketing through the use of location tracking, joining in to a rapidly growing trend among smartphone marketers.
This new application is scheduled to be unveiled at some point in March of this year.
The sources stated that the mobile marketing app is designed to assist users in locating friends who are nearby and will remain operational even when the program isn’t actually open on the device. The sources requested not to be identified as the plans for Facebook’s app have not yet been released to the public.
Facebook will also be adding mobile marketing features to help to profit from this location data.
There are more than 1 billion people who use their smartphones and tablets to access their Facebook accounts. This presents a tremendous mobile marketing opportunity when the social network will be able to identify businesses that are located near the users. It could, therefore, help the company to sell more ads based on the daily habits and the location of the users at any given time.
At the same time, this style of mobile marketing is already causing some discontent and even anger among some consumers and privacy advocates who do not feel comfortable with the way that the company handles personal information.
American and European regulators have already scrutinized the way that Facebook uses personal data, following concerns that have been regularly voiced regarding the efforts that the company has taken to make sure that the data it collects remains private. Both Google and Apple already have similar tools that help them to constantly monitor the locations of their users.
When contacted, a spokesperson for Facebook named Derick Mains declined the opportunity to make a statement or to comment on this location based mobile marketing application.
At the head of the team creating this mobile marketing location based app at Facebook, is Peter Deng. He is a product director at the company who came to Facebook in 2007 after having left Google, said one of the sources. Also on the team are Glancee and Gowalla engineers, said the source. Both of these are companies based on location tracking that have been acquired by the social network giant in the last year.