A new patent awarded to Facebook may prove to be an issue for competing location-based services providers across the United States.
According to technology website Tech Eye, on Tuesday the social networking giant was granted a patent, titled ‘Systems and methods for automatically locating web-based social network members’, which may prove to be a threat for small, large and upcoming location-based service providers.
The news, which was first highlighted by Bnet’s Eric Sherman, suggests that the company applied for the patent number 7,809,805 in the year 2007, which shows that Facebook may have joined the field a little later than its competition, but it has started to work on it much earlier.
“A method of sharing locations of users participating in a social networking service at a geographic location, executed by a computer system and comprising: receiving location information and associating it with status information of the first user in database,” reads Bnet.
The patent can cannibalise the users and market share of other companies like rapidly growing Foursquare and Gowalla.