Within weeks, Facebook will introduce the geo-location check-in feature popularised by the success of exploration-gaming mobile app Foursquare.
Rather than compete directly with Foursquare, Facebook is preparing to allow the start-up -- and other services like it -- to use an application programming interface (API) to integrate the app into the popular social network, our sister site CNET.com reports.
The value of this is that Facebook is unlikely to create an application that rivals Foursquare, yet still has the ability to work with location-based services. It would allow Foursquare to integrate itself into the massive social-networking service and use location-aware data already available in some Facebook applications.
Foursquare has become massively popular, especially in the US, due to its multifaceted functionality. Launched last year, Foursquare takes advantage of social networking, gaming, mobile and location-based technology in one complete application.
After signing into the Foursquare app,
you use your GPS to 'check-in' to your location, giving real-time
recommendations about places you're visiting. You're awarded points,
badges and 'mayorships' for completing specific tasks.
Despite its rise in popularity, you still need a certain level of techy know-how to use Foursquare. If Foursquare agrees to work with Facebook, the app will instantly become available to its 500 million users. Foursquare doesn't have a choice in the matter, according to Mashable -- it's comply or die.
But the collaboration could encourage other developers to think of their own ways of making use of geo-location data available through Facebook, which users will inevitably share with mobile devices.
Facebook has faced enough privacy problems in the past with regard to personal data and visibility, and the prospect of integrating a geo-location app into the social network is only going to rehash this hot topic.