Facebook is implementing location-based functions. This is clear by the code on their touch.Facebook.com site. In fact, the launch of this new set of features is probably imminent, given the language of the release information on that site. The page focuses on marketing (and the new feature’s lack thereof), but the fact that Facebook’s new location-based functions are about to launch is made obvious.
Over at TechCrunch, MG Siegler broke down what the code is doing (or will be doing, once launched). A new tab will be implemented, called the Places Tab, and it will begin allowing you to use your mobile to connect with Facebook’s mobile site and include geo-location information with your posts. All based on where you are now – ala Foursquare and Gowalla.
Using HTML5, which has geo-loc built in, Facebook will find your general location and bring up known locations in the immediate area. The user can then choose one and “check in” as being there.
Facebook appears to also be either planning to (somehow) get or have a setup for the future to use other information such as altitude, heading, and speed. Those may or may not be useful later. So-called “drive-by check-ins” on Foursquare are common, so this may be a way of combating that.
It appears that Facebook is not going with the Twitter model of just geo-tagging status updates, but instead is going with full check-in functionality and possibly a more Gowalla/Foursquare-like setup.
Very interesting stuff. Watch for FB to announce this as a live launch in the near future.