Report: Facebook Location Feature To Bow At f8

    March 9, 2010

At the first f8 conference, Facebook Platform was launched.  Facebook Connect was announced the second time around.  And now, as f8 2010 draws near, a report’s indicated that Facebook will finally unveil a feature having to do with users’ physical locations.

Consider the difference someone’s location can make.  Here’s one basic example: Many people would pass over the status update "Kate is warm," but something like "Kate is warm – Miami, Florida" might attract all sorts of attention from Kate’s friends (assuming Kate’s not a Miami native).  Plus it could mean a different set of ads would get shown.

It’s significant, then, that Nick Bilton reported this afternoon, "Facebook plans to take the wraps off a new location-based feature in late April at f8, the company’s yearly developer conference, according to several people briefed on the project."

Bilton also wrote, "The new location feature will have two aspects, according to the people familiar with Facebook’s plans.  One will be a service offered directly by Facebook that will allow users to share their location information with friends. . . .  The other will be a set of software tools, known as A.P.I.’s, that outside developers can use to offer their own location-based services to Facebook users."

As for how Facebook intends to deal with privacy issues, this should be an opt-in feature, effectively cutting off the sorts of protests with which some other changes and Google Buzz were greeted.

Now we just have to wait and see if Facebook actually follows through on these rumors.