Facebook’s Upcoming Mobile App Tracks Offline Users
Facebook next month will reportedly launch an app that helps users of the social networking giant find their friends.
The app, set to launch mid-March, tells Facebook users when their friends are nearby. According to Bloomberg News, the app will allow a user’s location to be tracked even when the app is not opened. Although Facebook currently allows users to let contacts know where they are by “checking in”, the new app would continuously follow a user once he/she enables the app. App users will be pinged when their contacts are nearby, or vice-versa.
Facebook, which became a publicly listed company in May last year, is under pressure from investors to improve ways to monetize from service that caters to more than 1 billion users. A location tracking app could help Facebook sell ads that are based on the places users visit.
However, the app could raise privacy concerns. Facebook is already under scrutiny from regulators amid concerns that it doesn’t do enough to keep data private.
The app is expected to come as a stand-alone download like Facebook Messenger, so it would have complete opt-in policy.
The app will compete with Apple’s own Find My Friends and Math Camp Inc.’s Highlight.
The Mark Zuckerberg-founded company in June last year launched a Find Friends Nearby feature but quietly pulled the feature inafter just a few hours. The new feature gave users a landing page to connect to other Facebook users (not necessarily friends) within a certain vicinity.
Facebook has not issued an official announcement regarding the new app.