Information has leaked that Facebook is set to roll out location-based features for users and brands as soon as this month. According to Advertising Age , users could see location options any day now. These features include the ability to check in at various locations, including retail spots and restaurants. We're unclear as to whether users will be able to add or customize their own locations, but we are fairly positive that this move will put Foursquare, Brightkite, Gowalla and other location-based services in an uncomfortable position.
Last week we asked you to send us your questions for our interview with wine connoisseur and social-media expert Gary Vaynerchuk . Gary and his consulting company VaynerMedia recently ran an experiment with the NBA's New Jersey Nets and geolocation app Gowalla (in which Gary is an investor) to see if location services could draw fans to games with free tickets.
For all their buzz and value, location-based social networks haven't really gone mainstream yet. Only 7% of Americans are aware of location-based social networks, according to data from Edison Research . Part of the explanation for this is that the majority of mobile users aren't using smartphones . And as a result, just 10% of those surveyed use mobile location services at least once a week, according to the Mobile Marketing Association's latest Mobile Consumer Briefing survey. For smartphone users, like those of the iPhone (a popular device among early adopters), that number jumps all the way up to 63%. Still, even with smartphones predicted to overtake feature phones sometime next year, there may still be adoption hurdles for location-based social networks.