Instagram is testing a feature that will let users collect their location data on Instagram and share them with Facebook. The platform is working on a prototype Location History feature proposing that Location History data collected from Location Services within the Instagram app will be used to support Facebook’s ad targeting.
Interestingly, this news released right after the Instagram co-founders resigned, and the former VP of News Feed on Facebook was named the new Head of Instagram. Meantime, Facebook has presented a detailed explanation after the new feature was discovered. Separately, Instagram has launched a new Nametags feature that will make it easier for people to find other users on the platform.
How does it work?
Instagram is prototyping a new privacy setting which would provide accounts’ exact GPS coordinates to Facebook even when they aren’t using the app. The information shared with Facebook will help the platform to send targeted advertisements to its users. So, you will be able to see your geo-tagged data in your Facebook Profile’s Activity Log, and it will contain maps of the places you visit.
Facebook noted that Instagram has prototyped the Location History Sharing feature but hasn’t confirmed a launch yet:
“To confirm, we haven’t added updates to our location settings. As you know, we often work on ideas that can evolve over time or eventually not be tested or released. Instagram doesn’t currently store Location History; we will keep people updated with any changes to our location settings in the future.”
Jane Machun Wong shared a few screenshots via Twitter that shows the Location History feature on Instagram. As per the pictures, Instagram’s location sharing feature locates in the Privacy and Security settings of Facebook. Instagram and Messenger data can be collected and used to build a history of locations received by the Location Services feature.
“Location History is a setting that allows Facebook to build a history of precise locations received through Location Services on your device. When Location History is on, Facebook will periodically add your current precise location to your Location History even if you leave the app. You can turn off Location History at any time in your Location Settings on the app. When Location History is turned off, Facebook will stop adding new information to your Location History which you can view in your Location Settings. Facebook may still receive your most recent precise location so that you can, for example, post content that’s tagged with your location. Location History helps you explore what’s around you, get more relevant ads, and helps improve Facebook. Location History must be turned on for some location feature to work on Facebook, including Find Wi-Fi and Nearby Friends.”
This means the location data collected from Instagram will allow Facebook to target accounts with local ads across Facebook and Instagram showcasing advertisements for nearby companies.