Is Facebook Readying Personalization Tools?

Facebook could release updates to services within the next several weeks that would allow its more than 500 million members to personalize offerings from news feeds to business and location-based applications, according to sources. Third-party companies involved with the latest update have been told to have their application programming interface (API) integration ready to go by Aug. 19.

Third-party developers say the API will provide deeper integration through a one log-in toggle that takes members across a variety of applications, similar to Google's OpenID API that allows users to sign in to third-party Web sites using their Google Apps user account. The ability to seamlessly move from one application to another also provides a clear path for advertisers to target ads. The integration would also strengthen Facebook's search feature.

A flurry of chatter from sources during the past several weeks have speculated on a relationship between Localeze and Facebook, but earlier this month Localeze President Jeff Beard would not confirm or deny reports. Neither Facebook or Localeze media relations folks Wednesday would share information on a forthcoming announcement related to search, business and location-based services.

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Localeze, a business directory, has partnered with Tom Tom, and Twitter's Places directory that enables users who tweet to attach a location to their messages if they post from a location-enabled device. It could also provide the platform from which Facebook members will "check-in." The app will likely provide advertisers and companies that have Fan pages on the site with a little extra zing. The services will offer more than a geolocation check-in feature similar to Foursquare.

"We cannot comment on any future deals, but as always will keep you posted," according to a Localeze spokesperson.

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