Facebook will soon have a geolocation feature similar to that used by popular sites like Foursquare, and Gowalla. This would give Facebook users the ability to add a location to their status updates by using the GPS on a smartphone, and allow others to follow their movements through those posts. According to AdAge.com, Facebook is currently working with McDonalds to develop an app that will allow Facebook users to note which restaurant they are in and include a photo of a McDonalds product in the post.
Foursquare already offers a similar service, which gives users the ability to earn points for visiting locations to compete against their friends. Points are earned every time the user ‘checks in’ and earning enough points can eventually lead to discounts or freebies in shops that are visited frequently. Users can also add new locations for others to see, as well as allowing users to add public tips about places, and private ‘to-do’s for the next time they visit.
Gowalla is similar to Foursquare but has also recently developed an app for the iPad which allows users to see a map which show’s their friend’s locations, as well as other popular locations in the area.
While there hasn’t yet been information on what incentives Facebook will offer to encourage people to use this new function, Facebook’s enormous user database will certainly give it an edge over the already established sites, which may make it difficult for them to compete.