Interesting Article from Mashable: 5 Things You Need To Know About Facebook Places Right Now

5 Things You Need To Know About Facebook Places Right Now
Tags: Collaborationcommunitiesfacebookfacebook applicationsfoursquaregowallamobileTools
August 19, 2010 by Tracey Udas1
The official launch of Facebook’s new location-based application, Facebook Places, has a few people talking and many of us wondering what this means for business – if anything at all. Here are five things you should know about Facebook Places right now:

Facebook Places Integration. Places is or will be fully integrated with today’s leaders in the Location-Based service arena. This includes Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, and Booyah, all of which will be expanding and developing new features in the days to come. With Yelp, for example, you will now be able to share check-ins with your Facebook friends, Twitter, or with only your Yelp friends. Yelp will also publish a photo of the business as well as information about the business to your wall. Booyah, creators of the virtual game, MyTown, will be giving InCrowd full API integration with reading, writing and searching Facebook Places
You Can Check-In Facebook Friends. If you do not have a Smartphone, fear not, you can now participate in location-based games as long as you know someone who does! Facebook Places allows Smartphone users to check-in and tag friends into places in much the same way that you tag friends in photos on Facebook. Scott Raymond from Gowalla elaborated on this idea saying “Check-ins are here to stay as a concept and I see it going really mainstream in the next year, but check-ins are just the foundation of the experience”.
There Is A New Privacy Setting For Places. To avoid being checked-in to places you don’t want to, or to avoid people who you don’t really want to know your whereabouts from finding where you are, be sure to set your privacy setting for Places. By default, only your friends are able to see your check-ins on Places, but if you want to share your location with the world, or prefer to scale back a little, visit your privacy settings and customize the option for “Places I Check In”.
Claim Your Business. Like Foursquare, Places gives you the ability to claim your business. If you see that your business has a Places Page, and you are the owner, you claim it by clicking on a link. If you haven’t already claimed your business on existing location-based services such as Foursquare, I suggest that you do. By claiming your business on Foursquare, you are able to offer rewards and incentives to your frequent visitors. Though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that Facebook is currently focusing on three core elements right now (finding friends, checking-in, building stories about places), he can see things such as rewards or location-based deals coming in the future.
Places Is Creating a Timeline of the “Third Place”. As more of us begin using Places and other location-based services, there is going to be a timeline of people who have come to your location for years to come; a timeline filled with comments, tips, photos, and memories. Even if a Place closes down, the page will still be there. Facebook’s Vice President of Product, Chris Cox, explained how for a long time people have repelled technology (many still do) for fear that instead of becoming connected, they actually disconnect.
Cox, Facebook’s Vice President of Product shared a compelling and passionate closing statement citing Ray Oldenburg in The Great Good Place where Oldenburg describes the three most important places in the world:

Home: Where you eat and sleep, where your family is and where you go to digest and reflect.
Work: The core of economic society where we flex our brain muscle
“The Third Place”: The corner café, the local bar, the library, the newsstand, the place where people run-in to each other.
In his book, Oldenburg argues that we are in danger of destroying “The Third Place”.

For a long time people have repelled technology (many still do) for fear that instead of becoming connected, they actually disconnect. Cox explained that the hope for this technology is that instead of keeping us trapped on our couches in a bubble, it will actually become the force that pulls us out of our homes and back to the corner café.

About the Author
Tracey Udas enjoys working in the fast-paced, high energy world of social and interactive media. She began her career as a marketing consultant fresh out of college before later joining forces with a private web agency in Connecticut in 2007. Currently she is with Excelerated Performance (@epconnects) in New Jersey. Tracey has earned experience in the health and beauty industry working with IMAN Cosmetics / Iman, Borghese, Chantecaille, Hair Rules and Dr. Denese Skin Care. She also has experience in the industrial and non profit arenas.