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Facebook Allows Users to Block Location Tracking | Digital Marketing News Today

After weathering multiple scandals regarding data and security breaches, Facebook is looking to regain some trust with users. The social media giant has recently announced an update that would allow users to turn off Facebook location android. In this article, I’m going to discuss the new update and what it means for your social media marketing agency.

Facebook Updates Android App

Facebook has updated its Android app to help users feel more secure about the information that the social media company collects.

The update helps improve user’s control over Facebook’s access to location data by allowing users to determine when Facebook can track their location when the app is not in use.

Some users may be surprised to find out that the app was tracking location previously, but it is a fact that the Android app had an ‘all or nothing’ approach to location tracking. If users agreed to share their location, the app would track it at all times, even when the app was not open. Now, Facebook will notify users about how location data is being collected.

How Did Facebook Track Location Previously?

Previously, the Android app would share precise location data with Facebook even when not using the app. Two things would happen:

  • Users’ current location was shared when the app was not in use
  • Facebook stored the history of your precise locations

Android offers a single on/off switch for Location Services, so you can decide whether to share your precise location with Facebook and other apps in the phone’s settings. If you did not turn on location tracking settings on your Android device, then the update will not change anything for you.

If the Location Services were on, then the app was once constantly informed of your location data.


What Does the Update Mean for Android Users?

Now, Facebook automatically disables the new “Background Location” option, so no background tracking will be done. Instead of an ‘all or nothing approach, Location Tracking has to be allowed by users.

Android users will now receive an alert in-app about the new setting. The alert will give users access to the settings to be able to adjust the Location Settings options. The bottom line is, the update to the Android app gives users a choice when it comes to how Facebook tracks their location and uses their data.

How to Stop Facebook from Tracking Your Location

While the Android app update makes turning off your location much easier and more transparent, there remains the option to change your settings manually. The manual option will still be necessary for iOS users.

To turn off Location Services on iOS:

  • Open the Facebook app on your phone
  • Go to Settings and Privacy, tap Settings
  • Scroll to the Privacy section, tap Location
  • Select your preferred setting from the following options:
    • Only While Using the App
    • Always Allow
    • Don’t Allow

If you need to change your location settings in Android without the in-app alert, here is how:

  • Open the Facebook app on your phone
  • Go to Settings and Privacy, tap Settings
  • Scroll to the Privacy section, tap on Location
  • Tap Location Services to turn on or off

What Does the Update Mean for Consumers and Marketers?

While it’s understandable that users were uncomfortable with the idea that Facebook was tracking their location data without their knowledge, there are some benefits to keeping location tracking on.

With location tracking, Facebook helps people connect with nearby friends and businesses, and can even help people find the fastest route to reach a destination.

Location Services has many benefits for marketers as well. Location-based targeting is a powerful tool for marketers, particularly when working with small local businesses. Re-targeting campaigns based on location help ensure that your messaging is reaching the right people.

Location tagging is also a helpful feature for marketers, as it helps encourage conversations to take place about your clients’ businesses on Facebook.

However, it is unclear at this time whether the update to the Android app will have any significant impact on paid or organic reach on Facebook. It is unlikely to have much of an effect, as Facebook still has access to users’ primary location at the city and postal code level.

Facebook is working to garner goodwill from users after a series of scandals last year, and are allowing users to turn off Facebook location on Android apps. The improved transparency will hopefully encourage users to remain on the platform who may have been considering leaving in light of last year’s negative press.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your social media marketing clients happy, then enroll in our Digital Marketing Course today! You can also follow Cereal Entrepreneur on YouTubeFacebook, and Instagram for more up to date news on the digital marketing industry, and visit our blog for more FREE training tips.

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