In the first ever Facebook developer event outside California, Mark Zuckerburg spoke in London on Monday about forthcoming features on the social networking site.
It seems they’ve been developing a new feature – a location service – something we’ve been speaking about for a long time.
Facebook founder and CEO Zuckerberg said “We are finishing designing our application soon and hope to offer it soon.”
He gave no timescales or details.
We think there are several options – they could incorporate an existing service like Foursquare or they could go it alone and develop their own platform. Given that 1m people are already using Foursquare, it may be the more sensible option to merge, but we haven’t heard any more than rumours on what would be a very lucrative deal for Foursquare on the subject.
The biggest hurdle for Facebook to jump is privacy. The grass is still wet after Facebook backed down on its terms and conditions recently and with media reports of some scary Foursquare stalking, it could all go very badly wrong pretty quickly for any tie-up. Don’t forget how much more information is stored on Facebook – contact details, friends, photos that could identify your home, holiday snaps (here are pictures of Zuckerberg himself, exposed as a result of the Facebook rollback).
It will be delicate.
At the conference, Zuckerberg closed by outlining some stats for Facebook, saying that there are now 500m members worldwide, which breaks down into active monthly user stats of:
– 26m in Great Britain
– 16m in Italy
– 15m in France
– 10m in Spain
– 10m in Germany
As a region that represents a tiny proportion of worldwide members, Europe is impressively responsible for 50% of the ‘Likes’ on the website. More than 70% of members are now outside the US as are most of the 1m developers.