Archive for the ‘geofencing’ tag
Chris Norton mentioned on his blog about the new Facebook Places changes. FB Places will partly revolutionise marketing by the legendary ‘check-in produces offers’ that we always imagined Location Based Services would revolve around.
There’s always the notion that check-in is actually an effort. I use Foursquare and Facebook checkins sometimes – although rarely at the same time, because I have different people on each account. (Facebook is normally friends, whilst 4SQ is mostly other folk interested in geo-things that I know.) But I don’t always remember to check-in; it’s a bit of a faff, so it doesn’t always happen – and then I think ‘I should’ve checked in there….’ long after I’ve left the place.
What I’m surprised about is that geofencing has not been mentioned much with relation to FB Places. (Geofencing is where, rather than you checking in yourself, once you hit a virtual fence, you trigger off an alert with the host.) It’s FB’s logical next step to turn on Geofencing as part of their native mobile apps. Isn’t there some kind of cost model that would have retailers that have a space on FB to create a suitable, standard size polygon around their outlets, that could ping a user when in proximity?
I suppose the question there is, why through Facebook? Why not through Latitude, for instance? Well the obvious reason is that most people are already Facebook users. Even if only a small number opt-in to geofencing, it would still be a large enough proportion for it to make sense. And then of course, the ‘xxx has just checked into yyy coffee shop and can get a free latte’… would pull in more friends, and therefore trade, inevitably.
People have given their trust to Facebook more than other platforms, already. There is more likely to be an adoption of someone knowing where you are, if it’s through Facebook, than through any other website. Far more people will use Facebook Places than Google Latitude, for instance. I’d suggest that enough people have used FB for a sufficient time that they have built up a sense of ‘trust’ with it – whether misguided or not! I would even wager that people don’t care as much that FB is watching you than any other organisation is watching you.
So I’m waiting until FB eventually take the Location Based Services ‘thing’ and do it properly.