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Facebook Places Arrives in the UK


Facebook has announced that from today Facebook Places is starting to roll out to UK users. The service was made available in the US and Japan last month, but European users have had to wait for it to arrive in their territory.

The service is currently available via the Facebook for iPhone application or for other mobile devices via touch.facebook.com.

Facebook Places is a geo-location service that lets users ‘check-in’, letting other Facebook users know where they are, or as Facebook would have it, “find out where their friends like to hang out”. Once checked in, your ‘Friends’ can see where you are, and you can see if any of them are nearby. If you have Facebook friends with you at that location, you can tag them. You can also make and view others comments about the location.

If it sounds a little like Foursquare, that’s because it is, though Facebook focuses on the social rather than the game element, and there are no badges or similar achievement awards.

If your precise location doesn’t come up from the list of nearby locations, you can manually add it. Business can also take ownership of their location on Places, by going through a verification process – the benefit of doing so being that business can then advertise to users who check-in there.

Having got its fingers burned several times over privacy issues, Facebook is keen to let everyone know that users have full control over the privacy settings for Places. Unlike its revised privacy settings introduced last year which defaulted to sharing posts with “Everyone”, Facebook Places default ‘Check-in’ setting is to Friends only. It’s also possible to prevent other users from tagging you if you don’t wish to let others know where you are.

Facebook also said that for minors, only their Friends will ever be alerted when they check-in to a location.

Inevitably, if you sign up for Places, there’s going to be some risk, so as ever, thought and vigilance are highly recommended.

Mark Southee

September 17, 2010, 4:18 pm

Seems this has been all to much for the Orange network. My iPhone Facebook app has died this morning and is refusing to let me back in.


September 17, 2010, 4:22 pm

Facebook Places? More like Facebook Places for Burglary! Thats it, just let everyone you know that you are out and about.

Hamish Campbell

September 17, 2010, 6:19 pm

In case anyone is interested, I'm either at home, or at work. So if you are nearby just pop in....or call first, whatever.

Don't think this is really so interesting for me huh?


September 17, 2010, 8:08 pm

@Jai - guess that'd be why there's privacy controls implemented.

Have to say though - you've got to be a certain kind of adult (it's different for young-uns) to be out enjoying yourself, but typing into your phone your location and what you're up to all the time. Makes for a lot of very mundane entries on Facebook too.

I'd rather just get on and enjoy the thing I'm doing, rather than getting swallowed up in those shallow, self-indulgent / self-promoting antics... but for anyone with a marketing degree, they suddenly have something more meaningful fulfilling to do with their lives!



September 18, 2010, 12:58 am

@Coffee - There's a whole generation (or two) out there who spend most of the time spent with friends on their cellphone texting with other friends who aren't presently there. It's this new time where people are so afraid of missing something that they're kind of missing everything.

Well, I am getting old. And I kind of like it.


September 18, 2010, 4:28 am

@Tim - older is wiser ;-)

...and on that score, I'm a lot wiser than I'd like to be ;-)


September 18, 2010, 4:26 pm

If I want to meet people, I will phone or text them (and vice versa). If I have not taken the time to do so, there is probably a reason, i.e. I have other stuff to do. And the location of my friends is rarely a great surprise to me because, well, they are my friends and therefore I have a rough idea of where they are likely to be on a given day. But Facebook Places is truly innovative: It offers an entirely new way for us to bother people who don't particularly want to talk to us, at any (probably inconvenient) time. Oh joy.

Clearly it's not for me, but there are plenty who are crying out for such a service. Allegedly. Supposedly. So I am told... Although I truly cannot think why, and nor can most of the (reasonably tech-savvy) people I know. Of course, in a year's time they'll probably all be wearing the emperor's new clothes too.


September 20, 2010, 7:54 pm

I find this the most annoying thing on the planet, i literally block anyone using this annoying feature.

I mean the other day my wall was filled up with 2 posts because someone walked to a shop then back home..... who cares?


September 22, 2010, 4:58 pm

This is quite funny - Facebook Places put in it's place. Heh. www.burglemyhouse.com


September 29, 2010, 9:56 pm

I think this is a useful enhancement, and many comments above are unnecessarily cynical. I do not expect to use it everyday, but it is useful for the regular meet ups (there is a wide choice of venues in London and other cities), and while traveling abroad (for friends overseas) etc.

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