Instagram, the social media platform comes under the Facebook shadow could channelize your location history to its parent company. Yes, Instagram found testing a location history feature that will forward your location details to Facebook. If the news turns out to be true, then Instagram will store all your GPS location history. This will help Facebook in placing relevant ads and content to your timeline.
The prototyping of the new feature was spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a profound mobile researcher. She shared the screenshots of the added feature that shows Instagram storing the user’s location history and sharing it with Facebook. This clearly reveals Facebook’s intention to effectively use Instagram for targeting the users with relevant ads and promoting the local businesses. After Instagram founders left the company last month, Facebook made Adam Mosseri, former VP of News Feed the new head of Instagram. Besides, Mosseri also shares a friendly bond with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
After, Mosseri took over the Instagram leadership it was expected that Instagram could chanelise to bring more business for Facebook. On interesting note, rumors also suggest that both Instagram founders quit the company due to the same reason. They weren’t agree with the idea of Zuckerberg to collect the user’s personal data for generating business. Facebook could leverage the Instagram user’s location history of acquiring more referral traffic, promoting brands and posting geo-targeted ads. Additionally, the collected data can be used to target the users for local branding of the businesses and placing ads of the products they might be interested in buying. With this approach, Facebook could really boost up its marketing business.
However, previously the company was accused of commingling the Facebook and WhatsApp data. For its action, Facebook was charged with the penalty of $122 million by the European Regulators.
However, Facebook directly denied testing such an Instagram feature to Techcrunch in an interview. “To confirm, we haven’t introduced updates to our location settings. As you know, we often work on ideas that may evolve over time or ultimately not be tested or released. Instagram does not currently store Location History; we’ll keep people updated with any changes to our location settings in the future,” a Facebook spokesperson said to Techcrunch.
For now, it is unclear how Instagram is looking at this feature and will it come with an opt-out option for the users or not. Facebook has already been through a lot including fake news, helping Russia with 2016 elections, and the most of all Cambridge Analytica data scandal. All these incidents have already damaged Facebook image among its users, and they don’t want the platform to spy on their data anymore.
The feature was spotted only on limited number of user’s profile, so things are still blurry and in favor of the company. But, Instagram is known for secretly testing its features, where only a few of them gets pushed later, and most of them never see the daylight. So, this could give the benefit of the doubt to Facebook that Instagram location history sharing could stay a prototype and the company will never release it for the users.