Yesterday Facebook asked me to update my client on my Nexus One phone. On updating I found the new icon for “Facebook Places” right in the middle of the icons. It seems Facebook has released Facebook Places selectively across different phones in India.
Some iPhone users also confirmed that Facebook has introduced Facebook places on their phones.
Facebook places is a Foursquare like feature which allows users to “check in” and mention their geographic location. It also helps identify deals nearby and also your friends who have checked in nearby.
Facebook says “If you’re already using Places, it’s like you checked in yourself without having to do a thing. If you’re not using Places yet, it’s just like being mentioned in a status update”.
Facebook places, like most location based applications on the phone, used CellID to approximately locate you and thereby get your local deals and friends near you. While not very accurate, it suffices the initial data need after which you “check in” and give a location and timestamp to your profile.
This feature has been available in the US for some time now, but introduction in India is going to be crucial considering Location based systems are few and the general trend towards better mobile phones will ensure more people to have Facebook on their phones.
While “checking in” is not a natural behavior, we still have seen users flood to Foursquare – and now the biggest social network has entered the game in India – which we believe is a game changer.
If you have Facebook on your phone, do check it out and let us know what you think?