Aug 28, 2010 Comments Off
Facebook has finally launched their long-awaited location-based product, called Places. With this new product, you will now have the option to share your location by “checking in” to that place and letting friends know where you are. You can also see if any of your friends have checked in nearby.
To start using Places, you can use it by downloading the most recent version of the Facebook application for iPhone. Non iPhone users can access Places from touch.facebook.com if your mobile browser supports HTML 5 and geolocation.
If you’ve used other location-based services, such as Foursquare and Gowalla, then you’ll have no problem using Places. Checking-in works the same way. All you need to do is tap the “Check In” button on the iPhone app and you’ll see a list of places near your current location. From there, you can choose the place that matches where you are or add it if it’s not listed. After checking in, your check-in will create a story in your friends’ News Feeds and show up in the Recent Activity section on the page for that particular place.
Just like you can tag your friends in photos and status updates, you can also tag your friends who are with you at a location. What about privacy? Facebook appeared to be a little more prepared to tackle the privacy issues and provided more controls for users. You have the option of whether or not to share your location when you check in at a place. When you check in, you can tag friends who are with you but only if their settings allow it. When you are tagged, you are always notified (similar to how you’re notified on a photo tag or status update tag).
All check-in activity/history will reside on a new Facebook Place Page. Similar to Foursquare/Gowalla, each place or venue will have it’s own dedicated page. If you’re the owner of that business, there is a process that you can go through to claim your place (see screenshot below). If you claim the location as your business, it will become a Facebook Page or you can merge it with your existing Facebook Page.
Places will be rolled out gradually to users in the U.S. and will be made available to other countries and platforms in the future. What do you think of Facebook Places? Will you use it?