Facebook Finds its Place in the Location-Sharing Landscape

Photo by Mr Ush via Flickr/CCThe biggest social network on the web — that’s Facebook, by the way — is getting ready to unveil a location sharing service of its own, according to a report Tuesday.

Citing unnamed sources, The New York Times’ Bits blog says there will be two components, “a service offered directly by Facebook that will allow users to share their location information with friends,” and a set of APIs other location-sharing services can employ to allow Facebookers to update their location info using outside services.

NYT’s Nick Bilton says Facebook will shed light on the new service at the company’s upcoming f8 developer conference in April.

Facebook has certainly taken its sweet time getting in on the location-sharing game — services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude and Yahoo Fire Eagle have been blowing up over the last year. But the whole idea of “check-ins” raise new privacy concerns for many social network users. Some view it as over-sharing, others have concerns about invasion of privacy or cyberstalking — which is why all of the most popular location-sharing apps have extensive privacy controls built in to their opt-in services.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Google is experimenting with rolling location-based features into Buzz activity streams, and that the company is even working on a new location-based ad format.

Photo: Mr Ush/Flickr/CC

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