Facebook on Location with McDonald's

Marketers will use Facebook's forthcoming location feature

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    McDonald's is creating a Facebook application that allows users to check in at its restaurants.

    Soon, you'll be able to tell all your friends that you just got fries with update, when McDonald's and Facebook come together in a marketer's dream alliance.

    As early as this month, Facebook users will be able to update their location along with their status, similar to other location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla.

    But unlike those smaller programs, Facebook has over 400 million users, and more than 100 million of them use the website from their mobile devices (i.e., smartphones).

    That is a gold mine for major advertisers.

    Not missing a beat, Oak Brook-based McDonald's is creating a Facebook application that allows users to check in at its restaurants, reports Advertising Age. A featured product—like an Angus Third Pounder or a McCafé Mocha, for example—would then appear along with the person's Facebook status.

    While specifics of the app have not yet been released, it is likely that customers would receive some kind of reward for their McPosts, like a coupon for the featured product, according to PCWorld.com.

    McDonald's may be the first company to cash in on Facebook's location-based features, but it certainly won't be the last, says Advertising Age. Facebook users can expect to see more brand names popping up in their friends' updates.

    From embarrassing photos to drunken texts, Facebook users are notorious for sharing too much information. Will subtle advertising via business check-ins be a step too far though?

    Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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