Print 26 comment(s) - last by quiksilvr.. on Aug 23 at 2:25 PM

  (Source: facebook)
Introduces geo-location feature that lets users check-in with friends.

Facebook users on-the-go can now can share their actual, real-time location with their friends online. The popular social networking site just teamed up with Foursquare, Yelp, Booyah, and Gowallah -- four up-and-coming geo-location based sites --  to offer a location check-in platform to users in the United States.

It's like the store directory that you see at the mall: "You are here."  The new service is called "Places" and according to 
Reuters and the Facebook blog, this new feature gives users the option of letting people share where they are, meet up with friends and find out about events happening around them.

The service is a mobile application available as an iPhone app or users can go to, a website setup for touch screen smartphones that supports GPS auto-location.

To announce their presence at a physical location to their friends on Facebook, users will be able to tap a "Check In" button.  After checking in, users would then tap "Here Now" to see who else is checked in where they are.  That check-in will then appear on that location's "place page," on the users profile and in their friend's News Feeds.

Similar in a way to how Facebook's photo-tagging feature operates, friends can "tag" the friends they are with.

"This is not about broadcasting your location to the world, it's about sharing where you are with your friends," said Product Manager for "Places" Michael Sharon.

The social-networking site has been plagued by privacy issue concerns in the past.  And while the company has implemented a few guidelines that should put users at ease --  the default settings for check-in are visible to friends only and your friends can't start tagging you until you authorize it -- users should also know that their home could become a hotspot.  

Users have the ability to create new locations which means that if enough people check into that location, it will become visible to everyone.  Once it becomes visible to others, users would need to request that their home be taken out of the database.

"They want to make sure they've done their homework, because privacy does become a concern right out of the gate," said Altimeter Group Representative Michael Gartenberg. "They don't want to introduce this and then have to come back and fix it."

After receiving criticism from privacy advocates, Facebook provided new control options to its users in May. 

There are 500 million-plus active members on the popular site.

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Friends with Big Brother
By SublimeSimplicity on 8/19/2010 12:45:28 PM , Rating: 5
We used to be concerned that "Big Brother" would know where we are, who we are connected to, and even what we're thinking. Now we volunteer that information.

RE: Friends with Big Brother
By nolisi on 8/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Friends with Big Brother
By gmyx on 8/19/2010 2:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. I'm not on FaceBook but I am. People I know have put up pictures of me on FaceBook. Not what if they geo-tag them as well.

Again, I'm not in control and they are volunteering my information, location and time. I have no control.

RE: Friends with Big Brother
By invidious on 8/19/2010 5:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
Its not facebook's fault that you choose to be friends with these people who dont care about your privacy.

RE: Friends with Big Brother
By Alphafox78 on 8/19/2010 2:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have to check in and out manually so if someones drunk the probably wont be checking out!

RE: Friends with Big Brother
By Spivonious on 8/19/2010 3:12:36 PM , Rating: 4
Or you could call them with your cell phone.

RE: Friends with Big Brother
By quiksilvr on 8/23/2010 2:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
What if you are drunk or are under duress?

You can use it to find your buddy on a busy clubbing street and want to meet up.

Or you can use it as a beacon for your cellphone if you lose it. Just activate it remotely from a computer and figure out where you left it.

I see numerous applications for this, so long as you have the right to toggle it on and off with no exceptions to that rule.

RE: Friends with Big Brother
By Lazarus Dark on 8/19/2010 11:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I wouldn't do this with Facebook. Facebook is too public. But I love Google Latitude. I can choose exactly which friends to share location with and when we are near each other, we can look and see, then text to see if we want to meet up. But Latitude is only between friends (and the Google server). I wouldn't want to put this on Facebook, even with privacy settings, I dunno, I just don't trust Facebook as much.

I can turn Latitude off any time, though I'm never doing anything I wouldn't want people to know about. Actually, I'm usually at home, so my Latitude probably looks boring to those I share with.

doesnt work for me
By Alphafox78 on 8/19/2010 1:07:45 PM , Rating: 1
I got the update and see the icon called places, but when I click it it says 'this feature will be available in your region soon' and doesn't give me the option to make my current location a place. I don't live in the arctic circle, wonder why it doesn't work in my region.

RE: doesnt work for me
By gmyx on 8/19/2010 1:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
You're not important enough.

RE: doesnt work for me
By MrBlastman on 8/19/2010 1:41:07 PM , Rating: 4
You're not important enough.

Exactly. Who gives a crap where people are every minute? I sure don't. I feel bad for people who give up their anonymity online and feel it is necessary to put it all out there for the world to see. Well, I don't really, as they are just asking for trouble by doing so.

RE: doesnt work for me
By Alphafox78 on 8/19/2010 2:05:01 PM , Rating: 1
You cant impose your opinion on everyone else, people think differently and have different viewpoints. I think its kind of neat personally, but some of my friends think as you do. if you don't like it, don't use it.

RE: doesnt work for me
By MrBlastman on 8/19/2010 2:32:15 PM , Rating: 3
Where am I imposing it? I was merely _expressing_ it. There's a big difference in the two.

If I were imposing it, then I'd force Facebook to shut down, or want the Government to do so--I haven't, nor have I asked them to so I don't see where the imposing is. ;)

RE: doesnt work for me
By gmyx on 8/19/2010 2:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
Dang it, forgot the /sarcasm tag. DT you need a button for that!

RE: doesnt work for me
By tedrodai on 8/19/2010 3:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
I got a facebook account back in 2004 during college, thinking it would be a great way to keep up with people after we graduated and moved to the corners of the earth. I think I've logged on to update my profile maybe 3 times since...once when I got married, once to tone-down the amount of personal info on the site when I realized how big the company was getting, and once when they wiped all the info from my profile (I guess some update required that?). Other than that, I do try to respond to the occasional message or comment if someone's got something useful to say. I'd have to agree with you, but it seems like there's a LOT of people who love it and obviously we're not part of the demographic.

I'm still in my 20's, but I feel like a cranky old man when I log in now (which is sparingly); because the interface has changed so much and grown increasingly less intuitive, and I don't care enough to play with it and learn it.

RE: doesnt work for me
By Alphafox78 on 8/19/2010 1:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
I guess they are rolling it out slowly, should be up soon. they are testing out server load or something, you think they might wanted to have tested that earlier..?

By bplewis24 on 8/19/2010 12:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
There are already websites dedicated to re-posting location information gathered from social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter for the purpose of allowing burglars and thieves to know when you aren't at home. Now people have found a way to make it easier by just geo-tagging yourself.


By KayDat on 8/19/2010 1:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
What, you mean ? I think you're completely missing the point the creators of the website were trying to put across: the fact that people are so willing to post their current location online opens themselves up to be burgled.
By the by, Facebook did the same old thing they always do: implement a feature and have it enabled by default, without notification to the user. Something else that hasn't really been mentioned is that you can "Check In" your friends to a place as well. All fine and dandy, but when happens when a "friend" checks you in to a pub, when you're supposed to be at work, and you work from home, for example? Or a strip club and you have co workers or bosses on your Facebook?

By bplewis24 on 8/19/2010 4:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
I do understand that the creators of the website are trying to spread awareness, and that is the point.

I think there are 2-3 websites, but one of them was shut down recently.


By Proxes on 8/19/2010 2:23:50 PM , Rating: 3
Hopefully one of those places is HELL!

Next New Feature
By RedemptionAD on 8/19/2010 5:31:40 PM , Rating: 3
The ability to geotag your poo and follow it's location where ever it may go.

By dapneym on 8/19/2010 1:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
I disabled it immediately once I logged on after they enabled it. I don't need yet another addition to Facebook further eroding my privacy.

By zinfamous on 8/19/2010 2:49:22 PM , Rating: 2 damn idiotic. I hope the scores of self-centered pricks who relish in divulging this type of pointless info to others do not complain when they experience an increase in household robbery.

So and so is on the john
By viperfl on 8/19/2010 4:39:25 PM , Rating: 2
I personally disabled this feature on Facebook. I don't need to let the whole world know where I am at, including the bathroom. Besides, maybe I would like some alone time to myself.

I could just see the message coming up on Facebook, "So and so is at such a place on the john." You can find them there.

Reminds me of a T.V. show I watched awhile back. The guy went crazy breaking up electronic gadgets because he couldn't find some peace and quiet due to all the electronic gadgets. He ended up putting him in the mental hospital. The guy told the doctor that was treating him that he wanted to be at the institution because that was the only place he can have quiet. The doctor was telling the patient how great electronic gadgets were. To make a long story short, the doctor himself ended up going crazy in the end because he couldn't find quiet.

Privacy Suggestion
By Hydrofirex on 8/19/2010 11:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
Facebook needs to allow you to create different groups of friends. So you could have "professional", "family", "aquantences". Over time you end up with many, many people who I don't want to necessarily share all of my thoughts/updates with. A way to tailer who my updates go to is highly needed beyond the current controls.


Social Networking
By iceonfire1 on 8/20/2010 2:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
I think maybe people aren't really getting this concept of social networking. I see no downside to this feature-people be like "hey, you're around, wanna hang out?" Privacy controls allow it to be turned off if necessary, and unless you're a hot girl with a bunch of ex's stalking you, it probably doesn't matter if people you've friended know where you are.

I'm thinking the hot girl with ex's demographic is pretty low on this site, so can anyone actually give some legitimate concern about this feature?

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