Facebook in all the right places

Facebook is getting in on the location-based social networking act, with Facebook Places. If you have Facebook on your mobile device, you may have notice this new feature the last time your app updated. Facebook Places lets you let your network know where you are when you check in. Facebook’s blog post outlines the main features of Places.

Recommend your favorite businesses
Much like Four Square, customers can check in at their favorite restaurants, shops, etc. to help generate more business. Or, as Facebook suggests, people can tell their networks about a great bike/hike trail or art exhibit. Facebook Places also allows users to post status updates, so they can provide more info than just the location.

Meet up at events
Another feature of Places informs users about people in their network who have checked in at the same or a nearby location. This way people can find out if people they know are at the same concert, festival, or other gathering and meet up with each other.

Privacy and security
One criticism of the location-based networks has been their potential for making users crime victims by letting people know when the users are away from home. Places can mitigate these concerns to a certain degree because users can select who in their network they want to inform about their location. So not everyone can see where users check in.

It will be interesting to see how Places fares against other, better-established location-based networks. It appears to have more options and convenience than others, but that’s not always the best predictor of success. If you’d like to learn more about social media and how it can help your business, contact us today.