Facebook owns patent on location-based social networking

Via Boingboing: Facebook has been awarded a ‘broad’ US patent on location-based social networking services. This seems curious when Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude and many others were doing this long before Facebook, but it seems that Facebook applied for this patent back in 2007, so even though they weren’t doing it before others, in the way the patent system works, they can claim they were thinking about doing it before others.

Facebook seems to be moving strongly to consolidate its hold on social networking and it clearly sees its location-based service, Places, and such like as being the guarantee of its future success. In short, it seems intent on creating a ‘brandscape’ which recombines the virtual and the material producing a seamless data-stream on the lives of its users for it to exploit.

Author: David

I'm David Murakami Wood. I live on Wolfe Island, in Ontario, and am Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surveillance Studies and an Associate Professor at Queen's University, Kingston.

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