All the rumors about Facebook’s geo-location based service have been put to rest with Facebook Places that allows users to share their locations with friends – and allows their friends to be updated in real-time. The service is very much similar to services like Foursquare and Gowalla, but right now accessible only in the US. Support for other countries will be rolled out soon.
Facebook Places & Privacy
Privacy is a concern for many (as it has always been with Facebook). Your friends will be able to tag you but you can always opt-out of having friends tag you on check-in. Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook Places isn’t about sharing your location with the world; it’s about finding places and sharing them with your friends.
Facebook Places Availability
Facebook Places will initially be available for the iPhone as an app and apps for both Android and Blackberry are expected soon by next month. For developers, Facebook has made available a Read API however, the Write & Search API is in closed Beta.
Facebook has managed to play safe by tying up with Gowalla, Foursquare & Yelp. I would still think the businesses of these relatively smaller companies will take a hit with Facebook Places.