Yesterday, Facebook announced the release of Facebook Places, a strikingly similar application to that of Foursquare (They even use the same lingo!). Facebook places allows you to share your current location with your friends, and the rest of those people you have added on your Facebook account to look “cooler as ekke”. Once you share your location, you can then add a comment along with it to let your friends know what you think of the place you are visiting.
“Places is a Facebook 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.”
Facebook Places makes use of W3 geolocation functionality thats already built into your iPhone or Blackberry and lets Facebook know where you at any time (and you thought Facebook facial recognition was scary). This opens up a multitude of possibilities both good and bad.
As I mentioned in one of my posts a couple of days ago, the marketing potential of an application such as this is immense. Your business can run specials that only apply to users that “check in” to your store using Facebook Places. These specials have more of a chance of becoming viral than your average Facebook fan page update. If marketing is not your style, its still cool to know where your friends are at.
As with any technology that is released in today’s times, there are those people (if I can call them that) that make use of it for ulterior motives. If you havent done so already, enforcing your own and your family’s correct privacy settings should now be top of your list of things to do. Not sure on how to set up your privacy settings correctly, check this article.
Facebook Places has only been launched in the United States for now. When it will become available in South Africa is anyones guess but from previous experience with Facebook, it could be in the next few weeks.