Instagram is testing a feature that would allow users’ location data collected by the social media platform to be shared with its parent company Facebook. Instagram is working on a prototype Location History feature suggesting that Location History data collected from Location Services within the app will be leveraged to bolster Facebook’s ad targeting. Interestingly, this piece of information comes right after the Instagram co-founders resigned and Facebook’s former VP of News Feed was named Head of Instagram. Meanwhile, Facebook has provided a detailed explanation after the new feature was discovered. Separately, Instagram has launched a new Nametags feature that will make it easier for you to find other users on the platform.
As per a TechCrunch report, Instagram is prototyping a new privacy setting that would provide users’ exact GPS coordinates to Facebook even when they are not using the app. The data shared with Facebook will help Facebook to send targeted ads to its users. The report says that the users will be able to see their geo-tagged data in their Facebook Profile’s Activity Log, and it will include maps of the places they visit.
Facebook, meanwhile, has noted that Instagram has prototyped the Instagram Location History Sharing feature but has not confirmed a launch yet. A spokesperson from the company was quoted as saying, “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.”
Meanwhile, developer Jane Machun Wong shared a number of screenshots via Twitter that showcases the Location History feature. As per the images, Instagram’s location sharing capability is located in the Privacy and Security settings of Facebook. It is explained that Instagram and Messenger data can be used to collect and build a history of locations received through the Location Services feature. TechCrunch reported that the feature is opt-in during the prototype period.
In the screenshots, Facebook explains, “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 essentially means the location data sourced from Instagram will enable Facebook to target users with local ads across Facebook and Instagram showcasing ads for nearby businesses.
Coming to the other feature that Instagram launched on Friday. The social media platform has added a Nametag feature as an identification card that allows people to find your profile when it is scanned. Notably, every user’s nametag is unique and can be fully customised. To check out the feature, you will have to go to your Instagram profile and hamburger menu button at the top. Further, select ‘Nametag’. You also share your nametag with friends through text messages and over other platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. For this, you will have to tap on the arrow at the top right of your nametag.
As mentioned, you can personalise your nametag by touching anywhere on the screen or tapping the button at the top to try other designs. You can choose from different colours, emojis, or selfies with various stickers. Now, in order to scan another user’s nametag, you will either have to swipe right into the camera and hover over the nametag and hold down on your screen, or you can enter the camera by tapping ‘Scan a nametag’ when viewing your own.