Recent months have seen an explosion of location based social networking services, such as Foursquare, Gowalla and MyTown. More popular in the US than the UK, these services let you share where you are and what you’re.
As we mentioned previously, Twitter has updated their location settings to allow you to say where you are.
Facebook has eyed this growth with envy, and have now jumped into location based services with ‘Facebook Places’.
Available initially just in the US, the service allows you to check into places in a similar way to Foursquare. Places can be created by anyone, but are often cafes, shops, restaurants, parks or tourist attractions.
Businesses can claim their locations, and reward users for visiting. This might take the form of badges, points, or mayor-ships; or could even be discounts on products.
Users can also tag others that are in the location too, and others in that location can be viewed using ‘People here now’.
Initially your location can only be view by your friends; and you’re able to easily disable the feature.
From the horses mouth
The Facebook product manager responsible said “You may want to share your check-in information with third-party applications that build interesting experiences around location, such as travel planning. Applications you use must receive your permission before getting this information. Your friends will be able to share your check-ins with the applications they use to help create new social experiences based on location. If you don’t want to share your check-ins with your friends’ applications, just uncheck the box in your Privacy Settings under Applications and Websites.”
What about you?
Have you tried Foursquare or other location based social media? Are you concerned about the privacy issues of revealing where you are (so a burglar knows you’re away from home)? Leave us a comment below.