Facebook Introduces ‘Places,’ Lets Users Check in From Venues

Posted: August 20, 2010 in Advertising & Marketing, Mobile, Social Media & Networking, Technology

In front of about 100 reporters from almost every news outlet in the Bay Area and beyond, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this evening his social network’s long-awaited geo-location product called Places.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduces Faces.
AP

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduces Faces.

The mobile product will focus on three major features, he said: It will allow users to share where they are with their friends; allow them to see who is near them; and allow them to discover new places around them. And company executives were quick to push Places’ privacy controls in an effort to stave off criticism that has plagued Facebook during the past year.

Places is a mobile product for “advanced mobile browsers” and can be accessed through Facebook’s most recent iPhone app or via touch.facebook.com.

Several of the major players in the local-mobile digital space, including Gowalla, Yelp, Booyah and Foursquare, were on hand at the press conference and some showed off ways they’ll be integrated into Places. While many pundits suggested Facebook’s impending launch of location would be the death of Foursquare and its location-based ilk, the companies — at least publicly — appeared eager to work with Facebook and tap its 500 million worldwide users. (Yelp, for example, boasts 2.5 million users of its mobile app, a fraction of Facebook’s user base.) Mr. Zuckerberg said this first version of Places will only roll out in the U.S.

While Facebook didn’t introduce monetization plans for Places, it suggested that was coming. “You can imagine a whole world can develop around this,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “But we’ll check in on the monetization at a later time.” (get the rest of the story)

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