Assessment 3

Location-based services and Mobile media

Artemis Zhang

SID: 460064239

Tuition time: Tuesday 17:00-20:00

Location-based services and Mobile media

Core concept:

There are increasing number of people getting access to mobile technologies such as smartphones worldwide, which stimulates the development of mobile internet. Recently, the evolution of smartphones shows a transition from ‘mobile communication technology to mobile multimedia technology’ (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). With the requirement of new mobile technologies, location-based services (LBSs) have been promoted. LBSs can provide an accuracy of within 100 metres position for users (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013) to understand ‘where I am’. It normally merges diverse features in smartphones including GPS and camera phones (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Facebook, as mobile social media platform, plays a significant role in the development of LBSs. I will analysis Hinton & Hjorth’s (2013) research about the development of LBSs that are converged with mobile media by using Facebook as a case study.

As a result of the development of smartphone, end-user location can be developed with greater accuracy with the help of Wi-Fi networks and 3G or 4G networks (Wilken, 2014). To accruing location information on smartphones, companies and researchers apply various techniques including “place ontologies” : “ways of categorizing the world” by analyzing a variety of geocoded location database (Barreneche, 2012). These databases can be collected from diverse spatial information of different types. For instance, Facebook uses Points of Interest (POIs) which point out each user interested feature on related locations (Wilken,  2014). Taking this advantage, companies can design cost effective, reliable, and high-quality campaign to promote their brands or products (Rao & Minakakis, 2003).messenger-location-sharing3-copy

With the development of smartphones, mobile media shares a closer relationship with social and locative technologies. The emerging new practices of mobile media particularly focus on developing social communications and connections (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). As a result of this, mobile media not only broadens the range of location, but also brings new meaning to these places through LBSs (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Taking Facebook as an example, it launched its mobile-only service, Facebook Places in 2010. It allows people to share check-in about their location, behavior, and time schedules. Users can tell their friends about a wonderful restaurant or a amazing place for picnic (Beaumont, 2010). In addition, Facebook added its Places to Graph API  (application programming interface) to give developers limited access to user’s and their friend’s check-ins (Cutler, 2010). There are three parts to the API: developers can see friend’s location and activities, third-party developers can connect their friends through Places, and give third-party apps limited rights search Places (Cutler, 2010). Facebook then promoted Nearby, which provides information of local businesses based on user’s database including position that friends like, check in, or write comments on the local company page . Users can find information through different categories such as Restaurant, Hotel or Shopping. This technology provides a ‘relevancy-sorted list of businesses and landmarks’ that will interest users according to Facebook’s database about ‘friends who’ve Liked a business, checked in, left a short text recommendation, or given the Place a star rating’ (Constine, 2012).facebook-nearby

In addition, mobile media accelerates the shift in people’s relationship online and offline, which stimulates new forms of engagement. As a result of this, the gap between online and offline, virtual and reality, here and there, are minishing and disappearing (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Facebook, for example, launched Nearby Friends allowing users to see approximately how far away they are from their friends, and can let them to share their real-time location in a limited time (Constine, 2014). This technology encourages people to spend more time with their friends offline instead of only communicating with each other through smartphones. nearby-friends-press-1

Our campaign and personal learning:

During this semester, our group conducted a campaign called ‘The Con’ for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. We applied Facebook as our main platform to promote our activities and to engage the target audience. Facebook is the most popular one among several mobile social media platforms providing LBSs (Zikuhr, 2013). Our campaign can be promoted by the target audience through Places on Facebook as  long as the audiences post related activities or concerts on Facebook tagging the Con. Furthermore, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ideally situated at the centre of Sydney’s CBD and arts precinct, and minutes from the Sydney Opera House. There are greater opportunities for the Con to be found through Nearby on Facebook because of the central location of the Con and significant population in CBD. 


According to  Kathryn Zickuhr’s (2013) report, the number of smartphone users under 50 years old who use LBSs is significantly more than the number of smartphone users over 50 years old. In addition, students and college graduates are more likely to use LBSs than adults who only completed high school. As a result of this, we determined our target audience are students from Sydney uni and workers under 50 years old.4A32FD28BE7C496E982890AC29E5BDAA

However, when we analyzing the target audience, we found that great number of our audience are not aware of where Sydney Conservatorium of Music is, some of them even consider it located on campus. Thus, we decided to tagging places when we use these platforms. On one hand, making advantage of Places on Facebook can help them find the proper location of our activities and the concerts. One the other hand, tagging locations when we post advertising articles, photos, or posters is a method to engaging with the target audience. For example, we planed to send free concert tickets to the target audience, but one person can get only one ticket. People can invite their friends to the concert through Nearby Friends on Facebook, and as a result of this, we can gain more attention and engagement.

In the future, I will use the databases from LBSs to analysis the consumer habit of our target audience. We can find the information needs, product and service choices of the audience through LBSs. For example, it can provide information about which platform is more popular, when they use them, and where is the target audience’s favorite places. Thus, we can hold activities near those places and upload new posts at a more appropriate time.

What the most interesting aspect during this semester I think is the discussion on class about the “ place ontologies” ( Wilken, 2014). Some students talked about the privacy issue of LBSs. Indeed, the development of mobile technologies has both positive and negative impacts in terms of privacy issues in LBSs (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013).  For example, LBSs can help parents find their lost children or provide updated information for the police about the suspects. On the other hand, it can result in the leakages of personal information to the third party. The privacy issue in LBSs is undoubtedly becoming a significant problem that needs more attention in the future.  Apart from this, the improvement in accuracy of location will contribute to the development of LBSs on mobile media (Phan, 2017). LBSs plays a significant role in marketing and brand promotion. However, it is difficult for developers or the third parties to know what the users are doing or what they want in that location in real time (Rao & Minakakis, 2003). To solve this problem, the LBSs may get closer connections other service offerings in the future. For example, LBSs can corporate with retailers like to get consumer’s information about their profiles, history, needs, and preferences. By classifying information including location type, target audience needs, personal preferences, and active time, LBSs can be competitive for marketing, advertising or brand promotion process (Rao & Minakakis, 2003).

In conclusion, according to Hinton & Hjorth (2013), the development of mobile devices and LBSs has several advantages. It accelerates the transformation in people’s relationship online and offline, which stimulates new forms of engagement. In addition, mobile media not only broadens the range of location, but also brings new meaning to these places through LBSs. The future of LBSs I think will focused more on the target audience themselves, including their profiles, needs and preferences. This may stimulate the corporation between LBSs and a variety of other services.


Beaumont, C.(2010). Facebook Places: What it is and how it works [Format description]. Retrieved from:

Barreneche, C. (2012). The order of places: Code, ontology and visibility in locative media. Computational Culture, 2, 26.

Cutler, M. (2010). Facebook Taking the Platform Approach to Location With Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Booyah [Format description]. Retrieved from:

Constine, J. (2012). Hands On With Facebook Nearby, A New Local Biz Discovery Feature That Challenges Yelp And Foursquare [Format description]. Retrieved from:

Constine, J. (2014). Facebook Launches “Nearby Friends” With Opt-In Real-Time Location Sharing To Help You Meet Up [Format description]. Retrieved from:


Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media. Sage.

Phan, T. (2017). Location Services 2017: Top 7 Predictions [Format description]. Retrieved from:

Rao, B., & Minakakis, L. (2003). Evolution of mobile location-based services. Communications of the ACM, 46(12), 61-65.

Wilken, R. (2014). Places nearby: Facebook as a location-based social media platform. new media & society, 16(7), 1087-1103.

Zickuhr, K. (2013). Main Report [Format description]. Retrieved from:




2 thoughts on “Location-based services and Mobile media

  1. Hello, Zhang! Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. I am very interested in the GPS and location-based services which are also the interesting part of our course. With the remarkable development of mobile devices like mobile phone, our world seems being smaller and smaller. Because of that, location-based services (LBS) has been promoted. This article choose Facebook as an example to show a specific location technology named Places to Graph API. It is a great example that helps me understand that we could find some restaurants, hospitals and other shops on Facebook. Even, we could also find the closest people on Facebook. So, maybe you could compare Facebook and WeChat which is also the social media in China and has the same function. It may engage more Chinese people in this conversation. Also, the LBS technology is useful in your ‘the Con’ campaign, you have mentioned you could get consumers’ habit and their needs through LBS. It could be the advisable tactic for other ‘the Con’ campaign groups to enhance the engagement with their target audiences. Anyway, this article structures well, covers all requirements and give the persuasive description of LBS backed up by evidence and examples. After reading the article, I believe their social media campaign would get success.


  2. Hello, Zhang
    Thank you for sharing this quite good article on the Internet. In this article, you mentioned the concepts of the Integration of locative and social media. Through developing of locative media, we have more connection between social and personal. Locative media gives a totally new experience for us to get information, market products and maintain current social relationships. Facebook is a specific example as a social media, because it is the largest social media in the world. At the same time, the features of social, commercial and political are all integrated in the Facebook. Some of organization tries to use social media to promote their products so as to get profit from trading personal data that you also mentioned. I totally agree with your point about the privacy and security issues of Internet users. Obviously, we are benefits from social and locative media, these technologies make us life more convenient and richer. However, with the development of technology, we are becoming more and more transparency, the public and private are becoming more blurring. What I want to say is our personal information may use for other purpose. It is important to recognize that we are being watched and monitored anytime and anywhere via tracking and recording. To be sure, this article quite good, all the point that you are mentioned and it is so comprehensive article, by the way, thanks for sharing your group campaign.


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