Facebook will stop some services that employ user location-tracking because they are not used that much.
Snooping through apps has been a touchy subject for many app users who detest the ability of a company to know their precise locations. However, some apps continue to use it for a variety of reasons. For example, Facebook used location-tracking to surface Nearby Friends, send weather alerts, and compile location history. The social media network platform will now stop some of the services that involve collecting the location data of its users. The reason is that people do not use the features enough to justify operating them.
Facebook announced the services would stop at the end of May, and it will clear out all stored data on August 1st.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, confirmed the move through its spokesperson Emil Vazquez. It clarified that Facebook has not stopped location tracking but some services that use them. “While we’re deprecating some location-based features on Facebook due to low usage, people can still use Location Services to manage how their location information is collected and used.”
Facebook will still collect your location data to power other experiences like targeted advertising and check-ins, in line with its data policy. Users can still view, download, or delete their location data on the platform through the settings. However, users that want to access their data collected by the discontinued services must do so before August 1st.
Facebook has been seeing less growth in user base for a while and even suffered a net loss of users in a recent financial quarter. So, it is not surprising that the services are not seeing as much use as the social media giant wanted or planned. Competing social networks have launched similar features, taking away users from one of the oldest.
In addition, Facebook has been involved in high-profile user data scandals multiple times, so it is reasonable to expect people to be wary about sharing their location with the company.
Here is Facebook’s message to its users on discontinuing some services that require location tracking:
“Because you’ve previously used Nearby Friends, Weather alerts, Location History, or Background Location, we’re letting you know that these products and features will no longer be available after May 31, 2022. Information you shared that was used for these experiences, including Location History and Background Location, will stop being collected after May 31, 2022, even if you have previously enabled them. Facebook will otherwise continue collecting location information for other experiences as described in our Data Policy.
“Update your settings
“You can update your current Location History and Background Location settings in the Facebook App until May 31st, 2022. After this date, the settings will be disabled.
“Accessing your Location History
“If you want to view or delete your existing Location History, you can access your information and download your information before Aug 1, 2022. After this date, if you do nothing, your existing Location History information will be automatically deleted.”