Facebook doesn’t use GPS to target ads, but Nearby Friend data could be used in the future

By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

April 18, 2014 | 2 min read

Facebook has revealed that it does not use GPS to target ads “right now”, following the roll out of Nearby Friends and Location History, but has not mentioned if this is something that will be implemented in the future.

The new feature, which is being rolled out in the US, allows users to opt-in to see where their friends are, with the aim to help nearby friends to meet up.

Speaking to AdAge, a Facebook spokesperson said: "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."

In December, Twitter tested a feature that would allow users to see who is tweeting nearby, even if they don’t follow them. However, this led to suggestions that the feature would be used to provide advertisers with more precise targeting capabilities.

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