No, Facebook’s New “Nearby Friends” Data Can’t Be Leveraged With Ad Targeting

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.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Facebook: Advertising | Facebook: Marketing | Top News


About The Author: is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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  • Ryan Biddulph

    This could be an attractive opportunity down the road Greg. Facebook seems to be rolling out updates even more frequently these days to keep pace with Twitter. I dig it, but twitter vibes with me and seems to resonate with my audience as well. Less barriers to usage, etc. Either way, let’s hope Facebook opts to use data to target ads soon.

    I found this post on and voted it up;)

  • Arun Kallarackal

    When I first heard about the nearby friends feature, I was
    like- this will give a good feature for the users as well as advertisers too.
    Because, it made sense actually. Using this feature, more specific, local
    oriented ads could be delivered. This would of course have benefited ad

    But alas, it seems this won’t happen now. Well, I’m not an
    advertiser or remotely related to it. But still, I feel that an excellent
    opportunity has been wasted. But hey, things may change in the future though!

    I found the link to this post on Kingged. I’ll be Kingging it there too!


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