Facebook Places…is this goodbye to Foursquare? Not Quite

I may be a week or 2 late on this post, but I thought it’d be better to wait and do my review of Facebook Places until after I had some time to experiment.

Location based apps are becoming the “it” trend for social media, especially those that have gone mobile like the ever so popular Foursquare, Twitter Places, and now Facebook Places? Facebook, being hands down the number one social media network would obviously feel the need to once again take their platform a step further and expand into the location based spectrum of social media. But was this necessarily a good idea and will it catch on? Could it replace the rapidly growing popularity of Foursquare?

Facebbok Places and Foursquare LogoFacebook Places logo (Left) Foursquare (Right)

So, here’s the dealio:

Facebook places is an app that brings geo-location to Facebook users with smartphones. As of now the feature is only available on the IPhone, but a future release (although that date is not confirmed) is planning for the Android and Blackberry. Once you have accessed places you are asked for permission to share you location, which is a good feature adding extra privacy. From here you enter the places page and can share you whereabouts with friends. Places gives you the ability to add places that don’t already exist on the places platform and tag you and your friends in places as well and check in as a group. So from that standpoint Places is pretty nifty.

Facebook Places has stirred up several privacy concers. Like I said above friends can tag you in a check-in, meaning that you do not have control over this appearing in newsfeed and on your profile, which by default it will. When you check in your location is automatically visible to your friends and everyone nearby. However, both these issues can be addressed by opting out of them and changing your customized privacy settings. It just takes a little extra work.

Places has a useful feature where it allows users to report incorrect places, spam, disturbing behavior, or duplication and will flag the reports which will then be looked over and possibly even removed permanently.

All in all, Facebook Places has its kinks to still work out, and definitely doesn’t have as much of an accessible mobile base like Foursquare (as Foursquare is already available on several mobile devices) but it does have the advantage that it appeals to the massive audience that Facebook has already captured. If people are loyal to Facebook, then Places may very well take off. The Facebook Places network is larger as well, where with Foursquare your network only includes those people who you have friended or who have friended you.

A Quick Guide to Help You Choose Facebook Places or Foursquare

Facebook Places:

  • A map and direction features.
  • The ability to see where your friends are, check in with them, and tag your friends in a location with you
  • A way to share their location with all their Facebook friends

Foursquare:

  • A gaming experience that allows the user to become the ‘mayor’ of a location, earn badges, and points
  • A way to leave tips for their friends in regards to a location and to see where their friends are at that moment.
  • A way to detect what businesses are nearby and if they are offering any cool discounts for being a customer

Well there you have it. More to come as I continue to follow the Facebook Places vs. Foursquare face off.

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