Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has entered into a deal with Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s Here mapping division to power services on mobiles, says a report from TechCrunch. The social networking site will now use Here Maps for Facebook mobile and is also testing the application in Instagram and Messenger.
Is Facebook using Geocoding too?
Facebook and Nokia decided to keep the deal a hush-hush affair, but when contacted by TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson stated that the company is testing Here maps on Facebook to offer better a experience and consistency. “I can confirm that we’re testing HERE maps in Android versions of some of our standalone apps like Instagram and Messenger as well,” the spokesperson said.
Citing sources, the report says the social network is also using Here Geocoding. Through Geocoding, Facebook can attain specific place data for itself and for users when tagging a location in Instagram, Messenger or the main Facebook app. As of now, Facebook is not using Here maps in any of its core apps, but if one views user location or venues on a mobile, a diagonal Here logo is visible in the bottom left-hand corner, says the report.
Facebook’s attempt to strengthen its location services is a fairly logical move. Previously the social network acquired several tech firms such as Glancee, Tag Tile, Gowalla and Rel8tion to better its location services.
Logical move from Facebook
Better location technology to tag a person will allow Facebook to offer better service to its users, who are fond of updating their status and posting pictures from specific locations. Also, on the commercial front, the Here technology will come in handy for businesses that use Facebook to take ahead their ad and marketing operations and make ads based on a specific locations or other location-based services, allowing Facebook to find more options to build relationships with users.
The deal between the two comes at a time when there are reports that the Finnish company is looking to sell its Here division, which stands at an estimated value of $2 billion, but some are of the view that the value could be double that as the company has a rich data set. Apart from Facebook, other companies that could be interested in Here Maps are Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung Electronics, Uber, Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), Alibaba, Tencent and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).