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Facebook Cannonballs Into the Location-Based Apps Arena With ‘Places’


Of course, the day after I ask everyone what location-based app I should try out, Facebook announces that they’ve entered the arena with their own application, ‘Places‘. Maybe it was a good thing I waited this long to hop on board?

Yesterday Facebook made the Places announcement at their Palo Alto headquarters, even inviting their major competitors (Foursquare, Gowalla, and Booyah) to the discussion. During presentations, some of the partners discussed integration and how they would leverage the API for Places. Booyah announced the launch of InCrowd, a new social game specifically designed to leverage the functionality of Places. Gowalla and Foursquare also talked about their applications will allow you to check-in and publish info to your Facebook feed. Your badges and pins will transfer over as well. While it appears that everyone is playing nice, only time will tell how the Places competitors fare.

So what’s the big deal with Places? Well, the major advantage Facebook has over the competition is two-fold:

  1. The Numbers. Facebook has over 500 million users. Foursquare has over 1 million check-ins per day. Huge difference! Now we’re not saying that all Facebook members will use Places, but it will only take a small amount to quickly overtake the competitors.
  2. Tagging. Places allows users to tag their Facebook friends who are also at the same location when they check in. This is unique over the other location-based apps, and something that I wondered about when I debated which application to test!

I’m curious to know, will you be switching to Facebook Places?

Other Talk of Places Around the Web:


  • Nick

    I wont use Facebook “Places” for one simple fact alone, their privacy. With all the security breaches and privacy issues they have had lately, I dont see any good reason to let Facebook know exactly where I am at all the time… I currently use Foursquare, Yelp, and Gowalla on a daily basis, and although there are a lot more users on Facebook, like you mentioned, not all of them are going to use places. Just my .2 cents.

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