Facebook announced on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 its latest product, Places, for mobile browsers. This product offers a brand new app available for download that will allow you to check-in a location and share it with your Facebook friends. Facebook Product Manager, Michael Sharon, highlighted a few exciting features at its launch party:
- Sharing your whereabouts
- Finding your friend’s location and tagging them
- Unveiling interesting places around you to hangout
Sharon provides an overview of how the new product will work and its awesome capabilities. A user will be able to tap a button and it will show you a list of locations and friends that have checked in. Once checked in it has a News feed to see recent activity that also allows commenting and interactions with things such as the popular like button and more. You will be able to see friends that have been in that location and their activity. Sharon states it’s not about broadcasting your location to the world rather sharing where you are with your friends.
There is a feature called “here now” that allows one to see friends that are in your specific location now. Users may tag the friends that are with them and it updates in their status as well as yours. Via tagging, even if you don’t have an iPhone or Android phone you can share in the joy of Places through the News feeds that will display them. A user however will not be able to check-in via the web because this feature at present is only available for the iPhone and Android phone.
Of course, Places has a privacy control, whose default is friends only and can be adjusted. Check-ins can always be removed from your phone or the web. With tagging users can only tag friends and tag them while checking in. Users are notified whenever tagged and can always remove any tag. There is also an opt out setting if a user wishes not to be tagged in Places. Places also has an extraordinary feature valuable to local businesses of Places users that will allow reporting. This is essentially a marketing tool for businesses that can gain exposure by having users review them via Places and increase clientele. What a huge marketing tool for businesses! Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp and Booyah have partnered with Facebook Places and are in on the ground breaking. Who will be in the place, we’ll find out on Places!
See the launch party video powered by LiveStream