Glympse Adds Real-time Location Tracking to Facebook

Glympse today added Facebook support to its user-controlled location-based personal tracking service on its iPhone and Android software. Previously, the Glympse client could only send a user’s whereabouts to friends via an email, SMS or Twitter link that opened a mobile browser window to show location data for a specific time. The updated service now supports real-time mapping directly in a Glympse user’s Facebook page. The dynamic map indicates location, speed and the estimated time of arrival if a destination is entered within Glympse.

Normally, the idea of having one’s location tracked or broadcast raises valid privacy concerns. But as Glympse has told us before — the company presented as a LaunchPad participant at our Mobilize ’09 event — it offers total user control to alleviate privacy issues. Instead of an “always on” tracking approach, Glympse users specify when to enable tracking, for how long and with whom to share the location data. Having used the service, I can best sum it up by saying: It’s a quick and simple real-time way to temporarily let your friends know where you are, where you’re headed and when you’ll be there.

Prior to the latest client update, Glympse already simplified the hassle of telling friends or peers where you are on an as-needed basis. In less than 30 seconds, you can shoot a Glympse to friends you’re scheduled to meet or ping the office so your colleagues know when to expect you. Adding Facebook support with real-time maps simply makes sense — for many, Facebook is a de facto database of the very friends with whom they want to share their location.

Glympse’s updated client is now available for free in both Apple’s App Store and the Android Market.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Location-Based Services: From Mobiles to Mobility

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