Location-based networking starts to pay off
Wednesday’s announcement by Facebook
that they were adding a discount or special offer feature to Places,
their location sharing tool, makes perfect sense and is the next logical
step in location-based networking.
Introduced in August, Places
allows Facebook members to share their current location with friends by
using a Check In button on the Facebook application for the iPhone. By
checking in, members and their current location will show up in their
friends’ News Feeds, allowing others to join them or comment on places
Now when members check in, their local map will feature
yellow icons, indicating all the nearby places that are offering
discounts or special deals. When you touch an icon, you can view the
deal and check in to claim it. After that, you just show your phone to
the cashier to secure your bargain.
indicates that numerous great deals are on their way, including 20% off
at American Eagle Outfitters, 2 for 1 entrees at Chipotle, room upgrades
at The Palms, and free Gap jeans for the first 10,000 people to claim
The new feature, appropriately called “Deals”, borrows heavily from Groupon
and other online programs, which pinpoint deals that are available in a
user’s home market. But Deals takes it to the next level, not just
presenting home area deals, but instead constantly making deals
available wherever the user goes.
There are numerous privacy concerns that surround location-based apps, and a recent study from the Pew Research Center
indicates that location-based networking has been slow to catch on. But
that won’t discourage Facebook and other web developers from pushing
ahead. They know that a great bargain will trump privacy almost every
Have you used location-based services yet? Would
some of the special deals on offer encourage you to participate? Share
your thoughts with The Online Mom!
Comment by The Editor, posted 11/17/2010, 4:42 PM:
Thanks for your comment. I wasn't offering advice so much as an observation that more people are likely to sign on for location-based apps if they lead to bargains and cost savings. I agree that there are privacy issues with LB networking and parents need to be particularly vigilant in how their children handle such apps.
Comment by liz perle, posted 11/15/2010, 8:24 AM:
LBS check ins provide personal information that advertisers use to track and monitor what your kids buy and do. This kind of third party scraping of personal information is an enormous violation of privacy. It's one thing if it's a good deal on jeans. But frankly, it's also going to involve sugar drinks, alcohol and other inappropriate promotional come-ons. Not only that but when kids used LBS they reveal their location --not just to friends. Please rethink your advice.