Home  › Social › Social Media

Location-Based Facebook: Marketers Optimistic, Yet Cautious on Privacy

  |  August 18, 2010   |  Comments

Connected Marketing Week attendees think Facebook's expected geo-social play will lead to more brands entering the space, but more privacy concerns loom.

San Francisco, CA - Facebook is expected to announce today the location-based service many in the industry have been predicting since the social site debuted its open graph platform in April. The social site is holding a news conference at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time to shed light on its plans, which will be attended by ClickZ News.

Whether or not the Palo Alto, CA-based company will be launching a Foursquare copycat or a something different remains to be seen. However, attendees at ClickZ's Connnected Marketing Week in San Francisco said - no matter the details on how exactly Facebook users will check in on their mobile phones - brand advertisers will surely be more interested in entering the nascent geo-social space than they were before. And whether a geo-social platform on Facebook were to launch immediately or in three months, the attendees said such a development would likely represent a game-changing juncture for mobile marketing.

"Absolutely, it will be the beginning," said Tracy Falke, social media specialist for Freestyle Interactive. "It will be the first step because people know [Facebook] and feel safe with it."

Yet, Facebook is entering a space that's been cultivated for the last two years by geo-social-dedicated platforms like Foursquare, Gowalla, MyTown, Loopt, and others. Would Facebook squash those brands if its location-based product is of similar quality?

"I think it will be a threat to [them]," said Harry Gold, CEO of Overdrive Interactive and a ClickZ columnist. "I think people have an appetite to be members of only so many different things. So there will be defectors from Foursquare and other services. At the same time, there will be people who stay with [Foursquare]. However what Facebook already has that a Foursquare doesn't is 400 or 500 million people using it. And secondly, they already have apps on people's phones. If all they have to do is update the app to include a check-in, they could establish a user base at a pace that a Foursquare couldn't match."

And that very scale will be what appeals to advertisers, said Kevin Barenblatt, CEO of Context Optional. "From marketers' perspective, they [couldn’t] care less about what service they are using," Barenblatt explained. "They want to reach their consumers and turn that online activity into store traffic. With over 500 million users, Facebook presents a bigger marketing opportunity."

At the same time, some attendees predicted a major public backlash will ensue if Facebook isn't extremely careful with making privacy controls easy to both understand and use.

Howard Ogden, founder of social media company Augment Reality, said Facebook's online and mobile reach would lead to fast-paced user adoption and a subsequent user confusion about what data they are actually sharing with the public. "We are going to have people checking in that have no idea the implications of that data being stored on a server with the user ID," he said.

Aaron Hardison, an app developer for Spotted.at, described the new location-based function as "Beacon for everyone." He was referencing Facebook's controversial and failed experiment that notified users’ friends about some of their online purchases. Hardison added that parents may be in an uproar if their kids are suddenly publishing their whereabouts online.

"Parents will just riot," he said. "There's going to be a huge backlash, in my opinion, to all of this. It could be very dangerous. But I can see why Facebook is doing it because it's going to be very profitable when they can do location-based advertising via that mobile interface."

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Fort MillWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager to join the...
    • Online Marketing Coordinator
      Online Marketing Coordinator (NewMarket Health) - BaltimoreWant to learn marketing from the best minds in the business? NewMarket Health, a subsidiary...
    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...