AdAge reports, as have so many others over the years, that Facebook is preparing to launch location-based services as soon as this month. The impetus for this expose? Mack-D’s. McD’s? Sir MacIntosh of Donald’s? Mickey-D’s? That’s it. That last one there.
As early as this month, the social-networking site will give users the ability to post their location within a status update. McDonald’s, through digital agency Tribal DDB, Chicago, is building an app with Facebook would allow users to check in at one of its restaurants and have a featured product appear in the post, such as an Angus Quarter Pounder, say executives close to the deal.
McDonald’s, which Wikipedia informs me is not of Scottish origin, is one of Facebook’s biggest advertisers, along with, from my own observations, services which can reduce the unsightly gut caused by a career conducted almost entirely from my own bed. The exact nature of the ad is actually not clear at all; is it an opt-in system? Who would knowingly opt-in to a simple ad like that? Would you really want to update your Facebook status with “Dan Nosowitz ate at McDonald’s. Buy a Big Mac like he did!”
The description makes it sound like a straight sponsored post, which makes the poster feel like a shill–not exactly preferable. Facebook might, like Foursquare, see more success if it was incentivized in some way–25 cents off your next burger, that kind of thing. But it’s likely, as Inside Facebook notes, that Facebook would play around with location-based ads before settling on a format, as is their wont. For what it’s worth, the McDonald’s Facebook page already has a “Local” tab, although it doesn’t do anything just yet.
Either way, it’s definitely one step toward Facebook location services. Let’s just hope there’s more to it than Big Macs.