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Is Facebook Going After Foursquare Or Google?

Potentially pole-vaulting location-based social networking into the mainstream, Facebook is about to let its 400 million members broadcast their every physical move.

Expected to launch next month, the new location feature will have two aspects, people familiar with the plans tell The New York Times' Bits blog. "One will be a service offered directly by Facebook that will allow users to share their location information with friends ... The other will be a set of software tools, known as A.P.I.'s, that outside developers can use to offer their own location-based services to Facebook users."

"In other words," writes Inside Facebook, "while Facebook does want to do location, it does not appear to be trying to 'kill Foursquare,' a formative location-based mobile game ... This is in contrast to some rumors that have until now been circulating about the company's location plans."

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Meanwhile, Twitter is on the verge of launching its own geo-location features. The microblogging service already allows users of 3rd party clients to attach their location info to tweets. On Tuesday, however, it briefly turned on the geo-location feature, according to TechCrunch -- a sure sign that it's on the way.

"Geolocation is quite a big deal for social networks, and an increasing number of services are starting to integrate it," writes PC World. "However, my concerns over the implications of millions of users publishing their location continuously still stand."

"With the rising popularity of Foursquare, Gowalla and other location based 'services' it makes sense that Facebook be here," writes Andy Beal's Marketing Pilgrim blog. "In the bigger picture, however, this is likely to be more about taking on Google for local advertising dollars."

Read the whole story at Inside Facebook »

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