Yesterday Facebook announced the optional feature “Nearby Friends.” This feature allows users to see Facebook friends that are physically nearby their current location. This new feature (as with any location sharing functionality) brings up both privacy questions and marketing opportunities. According to AdAge, this new functionality will not offer advertisers any additional targeting options.
With “Nearby Friends” there is an opportunity to deliver specific to a user and friends that a marketer knows are in a specific location. Think bars, restaurants & entertainment. However Facebook told AdAge that they don’t expect to be able to use the data anytime soon:
“The answer is no, we are not using data from Nearby Friends or Location History to target ads right now. Currently, advertisers can target ads based on location. To determine location, we use things like people’s current city that they list on their profiles, and their IP address. We do not currently target ads to people based on GPS coordinates.”
While this data isn’t currently being offered in any ad targeting formats, it’s not to say that it won’t down the road. For the full story, head over to AdAge or see the official announcement from Facebook.