If you’ve been keeping up with all the social media chatter lately, you’re already aware that Facebook recently announced the launch of Facebook Places. This is a new app that allows Facebook users in the U.S. (for now) to share where they are and the friends they’re with in real-time from their smartphone.
This new location based service, meant to rival other services like foursquare, has essentially the same main goals:
- To help you discover when you and your friends are at the same place at the same time
- To share where you are, what you’re doing, and the friends you’re with all from your mobile device
- To see status updates of friends that are nearby
The FAQ page describes Facebook Paces as a “feature that allows you to see where your friends are and share your location in the real world. When you use Places, you’ll be able to see if any of your friends are currently checked in nearby and connect with them easily. You can check into nearby Places to tell your friends where you are, tag your friends in the Places you visit, and view comments your friends have made about the Places you visit. Use Places to experience connecting with people on Facebook in a completely new way.”
From the image below, you can see it’s not all that different from the foursquare interface. However there are some different features, like the ability to tag friends you’re with so they can be part of your update. When a friend checks in and tags you, if you’re already using Places, it’s like you checked in yourself without having to do a thing. If you’re not using the app yet, then it’s just like being mentioned in a status update.
As with anything I suppose, there’s still potential for this to be misused. Check out Samir Balwani’s post, Mess with Your Friends Using Facebook Places, for a good laugh and to see what I mean. I, for one, have removed people’s ability to tag me when they check-in. Check out other ways to control your information on Places in this video.