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AdAge is reporting that McDonald’s will be the first major brand to use Facebook’s as-yet-unreleased location feature, possibly as soon as by the end of this month.
McDonald’s is currently building an app as part of a major media buy from Facebook, and location will be at least a part of the new app. Facebook does not charge brands to build apps on their platform – it seems as if Facebook threw this still secret to the world feature to the burger giant as a carrot to get them to seal the advertising deal.
Obviously, this is a setback for both Gowalla and especially Foursquare which has excelled to this point in landing deals (Bravo, Zagat, etc.) with major brands to use its service. However, until we actually can see this and other apps in action, its hard to say how much of an impact this will have on those two startups. That said, McDonald’s certainly made a well-thought out decision to go with Facebook over Foursquare, and the millions of fans that McDonald’s has on Facebook already must have played a major role.
Look for other brands to quickly follow suit if the McDonald’s app is a success.