Facebook Places: 'Your Ex-Wife Has Checked in to Your Girlfriend's Knife Drawer'
Facebook Places will allow those on the 500-million-user social network to "check in" to locations from their mobile devices -- thus letting others in their networks know where they are, and when -- as well as "tag" others with you at a location. (That means you can broadcast the coordinates of other people, as well as yourself. Great.) A somewhat creepily titled "People Here Now" feature allows you to see who among your peer group is at a given restaurant, business, bar, etc.
Foursquare and other companies will be allowed to publish their own users' "check-ins" over Facebook feeds, but Places clearly threatens to crowd out these companies, particularly if users decide to consolidate all their location-based social networking on one platform.
Why would you want to periodically publish your physical whereabouts online in the first place? Isn't this service ripe for abuse by stalkers, kidnappers, or anyone generally inclined to track down and harass their acquaintances? Well, there are at least three potential benefits to a service like Places.
|She's trying to usurp the title of 'Mayor of the Kitchen'!|
If you're a business, you get access to a trove of information about your customers' patronage habits.
Lastly, if you're a provider of a location-based service, such as Foursquare or Facebook, you get to make a mudslide of cash off one more piece of inane and socially useless "social" media before your founders cash out with an acquisition or IPO. Bravo!
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