Facebook close to launching location tools

CNET news
Dave Morgan of Simulmedia warned last week that local media companies were facing a significant challenge from mobile location-based services, saying that up to 25 percent of their advertising revenue will be at risk by 2014.

This week, several sources are reporting that Facebook is close jumping into the location-services game. With 500 million members on its side, whatever Facebook does is bound to have a major impact both on consumers and any media organization dependent on local advertising revenues.

Cory Bergman of Lost Remote wrote about Morgan’s remarks in a piece he provocatively titled “Location services to ‘devastate local media.’” He says Morgan’s 25 percent figure is probably overly aggressive.

Ben Parr at Mashable takes a look at Facebook’s plans to enter the geolocation world and notes that it is tough to determine the possible threats or benefits in store for competitors such as Foursquare:

“While Facebook (and probably Foursquare) will tout the social network’s entry into geolocation as a mutually beneficial move, the fact-of-the-matter is that the social network is probably giving Foursquare and its competitors no choice in the matter. It’s a ‘be assimilated or be destroyed’ scenario for these check-in startups. With those kinds of options on the table, Foursquare never really had a choice in the first place.”

Mathew Ingram at GigaOm sees Facebook moving beyond simply “checking-in” at physical locations:

“… they will almost certainly involve user-generated content such as photos and videos, as well as Yelp-style reviews, all tied to a location. … Facebook will likely allow Foursquare and other location services to feed data from their platforms and users into the social network, provided they want to abide by the terms of the API and the open-graph protocol.”

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