In continuation with my previous articles on Facebook, one thing I’d like to explore is how Facebook is shifting its focus towards mobile. In retrospect, it certainly looks like something they should have done a long time back. Will it make a difference now? Are these moves going to help in the long term or are these just quick  temporary measures to boost its current standing overall. With Google IO coming up soon, is Facebook trying all it can to ensure that it keeps up with the latest developments in Silicon Valley and offer its users a lot more all across the world, especially with its user base touching one billion soon!

In this two-part article I will focus on two important mobile products that facebook is developing.

  1. Location based mobile ad product
  2. Built in ‘Like’ for integrated mobile apps

Location based Mobile Ad Product

So what good is being one of the largest social network if they can’t put their money where their mouth is! With rigorous developments right from mobile acquisition to latest developments on the mobile front, facebook is certainly making sure that they go ‘All In’ on the mobile front. Especially when more than half of the 900 million users are using Facebook on a mobile device. More than 425 million active users access Facebook through mobile devices across 200 mobile operators in 60 countries.

One of such developments is Facebook’s location based Mobile Ad Product. A product that will allow brands and institutions to reach out to users with real-time data showing their whereabouts. Now everyone who’s using Apple iPhones, iPads or Android devices are weary of the sensitivity Location services being turned on brings along with itself. Some chose not to turn it on, others decide to, because they don’t mind the data being used and rest of them just simply don’t know what it’s all about and they go with the flow.

As Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions  told Bloomberg “Phones can be location-specific so you can start to imagine what the product evolution might look like over time, particularly for retailers”. She is right in saying that because from a brand or a company perspective this is something great and will help reach out to the right demographics, in the right way as much as possible.

Considering their efforts towards mobile and the personal data Facebook has, this certainly looks like it has great potential. Currently mobile advertising appears as stories in your news fee similar to where the users will find their friends stories, status updates and pictures. There have been significant boosts and growth in development on Facebook’s end towards mobile.

While Facebook hasn’t said when it may roll out a location- based ad product, such ads could take advantage of information shared by almost 1 billion people that use the site.

Currently, Facebook allows companies and brands to serve ads based on ZIP/Postal codes; however it has come under scrutiny for how it uses data in advertising.  A mobile based product for advertising would most probably use very specific, real-time data. It also allows users to share a physical location when posting an update. All this data can be very useful in this product.

Some interesting trivia based on the Check-ins on Facebook.  Courtesy: newsroom.fb.com

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Among the no. 1 ranked landmarks across the 25 cities:

– 7 are sports stadiums/arenas

– 6 are public areas: squares/avenues/parks/gardens

– 2 are amusement parks

– 2 are concert arenas

– 2 are shopping-related: shopping centers/malls

But how well will users reciprocate to this when it comes to confidential information / user data provided by users is still to be determined.

What is your take on this from a Facebook user perspective?

In my next part of this article, I’ll talk about Built in ‘Like’ for integrated mobile apps.

Featured Image Courtesy: JD Hancock

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Srinivas Kulkarni has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He's worked with Mirum (Formerly Social Wavelength) for 4 years. For the past few years he has been with Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai in various Intraprenurial roles. Currently he Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at the agency. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps #Kinnectors make a difference for the brands they work with. In his spare time he's a Travel Blogger and blogs about his escapades @ srinistuff.com