Following on the resignation of Instagram‘s co-founders last month — amid a rumored feud with Mark Zuckerberg — the latest development of the platform has been revealed—Instagram appears to be testing a new privacy setting that would enable it to share its users’ location histories with parent company Facebook.
The prototype Location History feature has being tested within Instagram suggests that Location History data collected when Location Services is turned on in the Instagram app will be used to bolster Facebook’s ad targeting.
First spotted by researcher Jane Wong, the feature appears under Instagram‘s privacy settings, buried in the fine print about Location History. Wong shared screenshot the image in the Facebook Privacy and Security settings, an option that “Allows Facebook Products, including Instagram and Messenger, to build and use a history of precise locations received through Location Services on your device.
Instagram’s Location History test option collects GPS coordinates even when the app is not in use and adds them to Facebook’s Activity Log, which is explained in a “Learn More” button within the Instagram app:
“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.”
It’s also likely that the company is looking for more ways to connect Instagram and Facebook, considering recent reports that Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger departed Facebook last month after growing agitation between them and Mark Zuckerberg over the Facebook CEO’s increased meddling with Instagram. Zuckerberg filled the Instagram opening this week with Adam Mosseri, a long time Facebook executive who has been in Zuckerberg’s inner circle for a decade.