Facebook has been leading the social networking market because of the bevy of feature updates it has been rolling out. Just yesterday, Facebook has continued the trend by introducing a new feature that hopes to make the website more helpful and fun for their users.
The company had just introduced Facebook Places, a service that allows you to identify your location at any moment during the day. The company says that with this new service, you will be able to meet up with your friends easily and be able to go where people you know are going. This new service is Facebook’s response to the already popular geolocation service, Foursquare. Given Facebook’s considerable market share, this is sure to bring tougher competition to this particular niche.
Basically, Facebook Places lets you post your location for all of your friends to know. You enable the Places setting and you can then “check-in” to whatever establishment you are at. This can be a hotel, coffee shop, mall, or whatever. Using your mobile device, you can search the venue you want to be checked into or even add a venue if it’s not on the list then tap on the “Check-In” button on your Facebook account. You check-in will appear on your latest posts and your friends will be able to see in real-time where you are located.
The main difference that Facebook Places have against other geolocating service is that it allows you to tag or “check-in” your friends with you. When you are with someone, strolling around the mall, you can use the Facebook Places to tag whomever it is you are with. The potential for this new service is enormous. Imagine being able to gather all of your friends just by updating your status!
The main advantage of Places however, will also be its biggest disadvantage. By allowing a user to tag his friends along, this will surely be another case of privacy invasion. What if the friend you are supposed to tag does not want to be tagged?
Facebook has already thought of this ahead and have added security settings that users can customize if they don’t want certain people to see where they are located. Users who do not want to be tagged can tweak their privacy settings to avoid being tagged.
AS of the moment, Facebook Places is only available for users in the United States. Also, the service can only be used in iPhone devices or devices that support HTML 5 and geolocation services. But the company says that they expect the service to be available on more countries and additional mobile devices soon.
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