Location as the new black, also for Facebook

Location is hot again. And a lot of speculations are made on the position Facebook will take. Will Facebook be the One Ring of Location gives a good overview. I think there will be a smooth integration of location in your Facebook profile and new targeting options will be connected to it.

For me the concept of location in Facebook can have three elements:

1. aggregation of all the location tools to realtime location profile entries.
The hot location services of Foursquare and Gowalla post the updates in the stream. Foursquare works already with Facebook connect for the login. It is a no brainer that these location entries can be captured out of the stream posts into one’s profile.
The challenge and adjustments that should be made are in the profile system lays in the realtime character of the entries. The profile is potential constantly update which will be heavy stuff.

2. Targeting on location events
It is also easy to predict that the gathered location entries in the profile will be part of the intelligent targeting system of Facebook. You will be able to choose exact locations to trigger adverts or services. It will be interesting if this is set up as a event driven targeting system. Not only location is the trigger, but also the moment in time. And ultimo also combinations with other users.

3. Introducing a seperate location stream
The location updates remain part of the news feed, but it could be very well that a location notifyer is introduced next to the who-is-present function. With a map or just with the location activities in your friend network. Building that in a smart and appealing way with a lot of realtime experience will contribute a lot to the boost of location use.

This element will be integrated in the mobile app of course, but that goes as much for the first one. A full integration with the mobile app is more important than the website and key for the success.

I think a good combination of those three elements will leap forward Facebook as the main player in the location gathering field. So let’s see how far the coming announcements of Facebook will go.

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.

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