As rumored the past couple of days, Facebook has just announced its new location-based feature which is simply called “Places.” The new feature is supposed to be out in the latest update of the Facebook iPhone app ,and also on touch.mobile.com if you are using a mobile device that supports HTML5 and geolocation, such as the iPad.
Based on the name alone, you probably have an idea already what Facebook Places is all about, but let’s enumerate the features still.
According to the Facebook Blog, Facebook Places will let you check in on the place you’re currently at, using the new “Check In” button that you’ll see if you have the latest Facebook iPhone app or if you go to touch.mobile.com. Just like Gowalla and FourSquare, the app will use your iPhone’s geolocation feature and triangulate your exact location. Ideally, that’s the only time when you will hit that “check in” button.
The fun starts after you’ve hit that “check in button.” The app will then create a story in your friends’ Facebook News Feeds and will show up in the Recent Activity section on the page for that place as well, provided that place has a Facebook page.
Another interesting feature of Facebook Places is tagging friends who are with you at the moment you are checking in. It works like tagging a friend in a status update or photos you’ve uploaded to Facebook. You can only tag friends who are with you if their Facebook settings allow it. And when you tag your friends, they will receive notifications immediately. The tricky part here is if you have set your privacy control to “Everyone,” other Facebook users will know that you and your friend are in specific location at the current time. So, we wouldn’t really recommend you to set your privacy control to such.
Like when you are tagged in a photo, you can always remove a Places check-in tag using your mobile device or on the web. And if you really don’t like being tagged on Places’ check-ins, you can turn it off completely.
You can also see the Facebook users who have checked in to the same place where you are so that if you have the guts to do it, you can introduce yourself to other people and gain new Facebook friends. Of course, you can always opt out of this feature.
The latest version of Facebook iPhone app with Places check-in feature should be rolling out in the next couple of hours. Watch for it on the App Store if this location-based Facebook feature is your thing. If not, you can just simply ignore it and go on with your private life.