Go places with Facebook Places!
This scenario may never happen again. Thanks to Facebook’s new application, Facebook Places. It’s a location sharing service that allows users to check-in their current location and also tag their friends and discover new hotspots around town. Right now, this service is available in the United States only.
To use Facebook Places service, you will have to download Facebook’s latest iPhone application or login to touch.facebook.com on a HTML 5-enabled mobile browser. This location service is a direct competition to the likes of popular services like Foursquare, Loopt and Google Latitude.
It’s a really easy-to-use application where you just have to Tap Places, find your location and share it with your friends. Then, you may add information such as why you are there, what you are doing now and so on. You can also spot the coolest hang-outs, the finest restaurants in town, by following your friends’ whereabouts.
You can also Tag Friends With You, meaning, you can add the list of friends hanging out with you in that particular location. You can also identify the location of your friends through Facebook Places and connect with them. You can easily find friends who are there at the exact same location as you and meet them in real-time. In short, you’ll never miss out on meeting a friend when you’re on Facebook Places. How cool is that?
Then again, this is Facebook and privacy was, is and will always been an issue here. So, internet gurus are worried about the hazards of divulging your exact location on Facebook. Is that a smart move? Are there any safety issues attached to this service? Before you begin to speculate, there’s good news. This time around, Facebook has taken privacy very seriously. It has introduced a series of measures to give users the power to decide how much they want to share with Facebook Places.
First of all, you can totally deactivate Facebook Places if you feel this service isn’t right for you. You can also turn of the Friends Can Check Me Into Places button and you’re friends will not be able to tag you. But, you can still continue to use Facebook Places to disclose information that you choose to share. Also, only your friends can see when you visit or are tagged at a place, unless you have specifically set your master privacy control to “Everyone.” There are several other privacy settings in place that can give users complete control over what they choose to share through Facebook Places and whom they choose to share them with.
Facebook Places is new and exciting. It opens up a world of possibilities. But, whether you want the world (by that, I mean, your friends, family and boss!) to know where you are 24/7, and whether anybody really cares is quite another matter.