Tech Blog

Facebook Places Is Live In Canada, Eh?

by Blogger ‎09-25-2010 07:20 AM - edited ‎09-25-2010 07:38 AM

Location location location. There's no doubt that serving precise information about you and your neighborhood is where companies are headed.


Geolocating apps are all the buzz with Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude and now .. Facebook Places all asking us to 'check in.'


facebook-places-logo.jpgFacebook Places was launched earlier this summer in the US, and has been finally enabled on Canadian smart phones over the past 48 hours.


I happily checked in on a C-Train platform and the Pengrowth Saddledome last night, but I don't know how long the thrill will linger.


The difference from other geolocating apps to Facebook Places is the ability to 'check in' is built right in to the software.  If you were social on Facebook or Twitter before, you had to close out your app and relaunch another to 'check in.' 


With Facebook Places, the ability to geotag myself now exists in the same place I'm taking pictures, updating status and responding to messages.  It's a one-stop shop.  So I might end up using Facebook Places more than the few weeks the thrill lasted before I broke up with Foursquare.


Geolocation apps are the future because they give companies more and more ammunition with which to better serve us ads. When they know where we are in on a map at a specific time, they can reach out with an ad for the pizza shop across the street, next week's concert at the club you're at or a drycleaner a block over. 


It's handy, but it's a double edged sword - we get better ads, but we're giving up more personal information to the borg.


And the personal information you give up with Facebook Places is not just your own.  Just as you can tag friends in photos, you can tag friends in Facebook Places.   Now, your married buddy with you at the club you tagged can get in trouble if he told his wife he was working late.


Depending on how much information you have on your Facebook profile, you could also be opening yourself up to theft. If you 'check in' at your home, or have your address posted, and then start checking in around downtown or perhaps out of town, thieves will have an easy lock on where you are and when you'll be back.


Make sure you check out the updated Facebook privacy settings (where have I heard that before) in regards to Facebook Places to adjust the settings for your circumstances.


catch the buzz ... pass it on.

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