The deal, which has been talked about for several weeks, is the most recent development in Facebook's efforts to juice up the location-based aspect of its hugely popular service, which lets people connect with friends and family via the Web and share thoughts, links, photos, and more.
PALO ALTO, Calif.--Facebook users are about to get a better idea of where their friends are.
At an invite-only press event at the company's headquarters here, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new service called "Places" that will let users share their location with one another and more easily discover what's around them from within the social network.
The feature, which CNET caught wind of ahead of its launch, will begin rolling out to users on Thursday, and centers around mobile devices, which Facebook members can use to send their location to Facebook … Read more
Apple has provided an unusually detailed accounting of how it handles customers' location information and privacy, following a query sent to the company by two Congressmen.
The iPhone maker reiterated in a letter published Monday that it does not share location information with outside parties without a customer's permission. If customers agree to use location-based applications, like Foursquare or Twitter or iAds, location information is collected by Apple in a way that does not identify the user.
On Thursday, coinciding with Apple's high-profile first day sale of the iPhone 4, Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) announced that they have sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs expressing their concerns and asking for answers regarding reports that Apple is gathering location information on its customers.
"Given the limited ability of Apple users to opt out of the revised policy and still be able to take advantage of the features of their Apple products, we are concerned … Read more
To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide … Read more
Though Yahoo may have wanted to buy Foursquare, the company has found another way to hook into the world of location-based social networking.
Yahoo announced Tuesday that it has bought Koprol, a social network for mobile users. Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Koprol lets people make friends, share photos, and find popular nearby locations all on the go. The news comes a day after Yahoo and Nokia extended their 5-year-old partnership with an eye toward the rising interest in geo-location offerings, pledging to bring Nokia's Navteq mapping service to Yahoo, and Yahoo's e-mail and instant-messaging technology to Nokia's … Read more
For as far back as we've been discussing social networks, there have been question marks around the best ways to monetize users. To date, advertising has been the primary strategy, with virtual goods starting to pull in some serious revenues.
But the challenge with advertising is that users tend to ignore ads that are not highly targeted. Even precisely targeted ads are largely ignored, which is why you see more and more of them taking up screen real estate. This has also led to more sites adopting a "freemium" content model.
And targeting is even more of a challenge when users are mobile, but mobility also introduces a whole new way to interact with and monetize users.
One of the more interesting companies in the location-based services (LBS) space is Foursquare. Surely, you've seen some message in your Twitter stream telling you that your friend is at some location or is the mayor of whatever, or has unlocked a badge.
And while Foursquare has nowhere near the user base of Facebook or Twitter, the users are very valuable as they promote the places they go and things they do simply by mentioning them in their communication stream.
According to The New York Times, Foursquare plans to distribute a new analytics tool and dashboard in the coming weeks that will give business owners access to a range of information and statistics about visitors to their establishments. This means that businesses can more effectively target users with specific offers and ads.
But what it really provides is a way for Foursquare and other location-aware services to make money.
Going back to 2001, I remember talking about location-based services while working at OmniSky, a way-too-early provider of hardware and software that turned handheld devices like the Palm V into mobile devices. We even acquired an Israeli company called NomadIQ to deliver location-based content.
Ten years later we're just starting to see location-based offers roll out in the U.S.--better late than never?
Many of the early international LBS were very basic social networks (primarily dating) and the demand for such services in the U.S. simply wasn't there, partially because of social mores and also partially because mobile devices have evolved fairly dramatically. … Read more
The Android mobile app for game-like "check-in" app Gowalla is now live, as Mashable noted over the weekend. Launching its first non-iPhone app is an important step for the start-up as it competes fiercely with several other location-based mobile companies that are all trying to break away from the pack.
Additionally, Gowalla is set to announce a partnership with the Travel Channel for its series "Food Wars," a competitive reality show that pits chefs against one another in blind taste tests. When a Gowalla user checks into a "Food Wars"-featured restaurant, they'll … Read more
Nokia Ovi Maps has been set free--free as in beer, free as a bird. Not only that, it's now better than the current paid-for version, with free Lonely Planet and Michelin guides.
We got our hands on Ovi Maps, which is available as of Thursday on 10 handsets--so if you've got a recent E-series or touch-screen Nokia, you can go to Nokia's Web site and download it right now. The exception is the Nokia N97--only its littler twin, the Nokia N97 mini, is supported, but Nokia tells us N97 users should get theirs next week.
Read … Read more