Facebook tests RFID-based location services — NFC on the way?

The All Facebook blog reports that Facebook is issuing RFID tags to all the delegates attending its f8 developer conference:

All attendees of the f8 developer conference are receiving special RFID tags that enable them to check-in to various locations throughout the conference venue. The service lets you tag yourself in photos, become a fan of various Facebook Pages, and share activity to your Facebook profile.

“One can imagine that RFID would be extremely useful for enabling users to check in to various locations, however in its current form, there’s little disclosure on what each check in results in,” the blog continues. “The process is clearly an early stage test to provide some entertainment value for attendees of the f8 event. It’s definitely interesting though and it’s a sign that we may see other location announcements in the coming hours.”

Could Facebook have plans to provide RFID cards to its 400 million users around the world? While that is highly unlikely, enabling users to check in to locations using their NFC phone does provide Facebook with a clear business model. Like Apple, and Google too, it has the potential to build a serious business around using near field communication to provide location-based mobile marketing services and mobile coupons to businesses and brands around the world…