Facebook is to roll out its location based features later this month, according to the Advertising Age. It's a move that could have serious repercussions for businesses as well as end users.
Firstly, in terms of the general public, users will be given the option to check in at locations such as bars, restaurants and shopping centres. Sound a bit like what Foursquare and Gowalla do now? That's because it is. The trouble for those fairly new start-ups is that Facebook already has a huge user base. Foursquare has about a million users, Facebook has over 400 million.
There will, of course, be concerns with privacy and security. Facebook won't just go ahead and start posting geo-data, users will presumably have to opt in or out. The issue is, not all users will understand what they may be agreeing to.
In terms of businesses, the location services will allow Facebook to compete with the likes of Google for location based advertising. McDonald's have already built an app which will add product data to updates. It's understood other brands will follow.
Will you sign up to Facebook's location services? And more important than that, will you really feel the need to check in every time you fancy a Big Mac? Let us know...