Facebook Knows Where You Are

By Scott McGrew
|  Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010  |  Updated 10:27 AM PDT
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Facebook is expected to announce new location-based services at a press conference scheduled for the social network's headquarters.

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Facebook is expected to announce new location-based services at a press conference scheduled for the social network's headquarters this afternoon.

The company follows in the footsteps of Foursquare, Gowalla and the much-buzzed about Shopkick. Each service offers the user the ability "check in" at various locations, alerting friends their sipping coffee at the corner cafe or chasing girls at the local bar. Retailers have been able to use the service to offer shoppers discounts as well.

If Facebook chooses to add the feature, it will be one in a long string of features "adopted" from other companies. Facebook recently changed the way updates are distributed to better mimic the success of Twitter.

It's widely expected the feature will be added as an "opt-in" one, that is you will have to choose to add the location data to your Facebook updates. However, if experience has taught us anything, it's that people will mess that up and create funny news items about employees who claim to be at work but are really at the ball game.

The plan to add location to status updates is not new, in fact most tech-watchers expected it last spring. However, engineers at the company said they were distracted by the company's recent kerfuffle over privacy settings and the need to simplify those before introducting yet more features.

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