Location-aware Facebook could hurt local ad revenues
Mark Briggs follows up on Tuesday's report of Facebook adopting location-based status updates to focus on the local advertising implications. He notes that "while the move will initially be seen as Facebook's attempt to compete with the growing activity on check-in based services like Foursquare, Loopt and Gowalla, the ultimate motive is more threatening to local media companies." According to Nick Bilton's coverage of the issue in The New York Times' Bits Blog, Facebook currently hosts pages for more than 1.5 million local businesses globally. Combining the six hours per month the average Facebook user spends online with geographic targeting of local business ads and coupons via desktop and mobile access to the social networking site could pose a major challenge to local newspaper advertising revenues.