Magazine article Marketing

Facebook Set to Roll out Location-Based Facility

Magazine article Marketing

Facebook Set to Roll out Location-Based Facility

Article excerpt

Social network to lure brands with additional element to users' status updates.

Facebook is to introduce location-based status updates that would allow brands to target consumers with geographically relevant marketing.

Users of the social network will be able to 'check in' to a range of locations to update friends on their whereabouts.

A range of brands, including McDonald's, is being lined up to tap into the service by offering rewards to those who check in to their outlets.

The social network is expected to roll out the facility in the US in the next few weeks; industry observers suggest a UK launch could follow this autumn. Facebook confirmed that it is working on a location-based marketing service but refused to reveal further details.

While location-based social networks Foursquare and Gowalla have proved popular in the US, they are only now beginning to build their businesses in the UK. Foursquare has signed up a handful of UK brands, including Vodafone and Debenhams, which rewards users for checking in to its flagship store on London's Oxford Street.

John Nichols, head of marketing at Nokia UK and Ireland, said: 'The jury is still out on the true value of location-based services, but it is certain to grow. …

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