Facebook is reportedly developing a new smartphone application that can track the location of friends on their smartphones.
Scheduled to be launched by mid-March 2013, the new app would allow users to find friends and track their location in the background, even when it hasn’t been opened on the device, according to reports.
The app is being developed by Peter Deng, a product director, in addition to engineers from the company’s acquired Glancee and Gowalla, sources familiar to the development told Bloomberg.
The application will be competing against Apple’s Find My Friends and Math Camp’ s Highlight app which also track the location of users to find friends or places of interest.
Bloomberg reports that the application will help Facebook’s more than 1 billion users who access the service through smartphones and other handheld devices.
According to the newswire, the tracking app could be used by the social networking website to sell adverts that are location-aware.
The US and European watchdogs have already examined Facebook in the midst of worries that the site does not do enough to maintain – or at least alow users to keep control of – privacy.