Facebook is entering the location-based social networking world with its addition of Places for the iPhone. Just like the "competition," Places allows you to check-in to a location (either one included in the app or one that you add in yourself) and display it to the world. Through the feature, you will be able to see where your friends are at, as well as tag friends who are coming with you.
Interestingly enough, Facebook has partnered with Gowalla, Foursquare, Booyah, and Yelp for the launch, and plans to include all of their services in some way, shape, or form, into Places. Gowalla and Foursquare are allowing the integration of their location services, as well as their badges, while Booyah is planning an entire MyTown city called InCrowd to work with the service.
Facebook seems to be on top of things on the privacy front this time, stating that, "with Places, you are in control of what you share and the people you share with. You choose whether or not to share your location when you check in at a place. When you check in, you can tag friends who are with you but only if their settings allow it. When you are tagged, you are always notified."
With every Facebook launch though there are people who are going to complain. The first complaints, brought by the ACLU of Northern California, are about the tagging feature of Places, stating that "Places allows your friends to tag you when they check in somewhere, and Facebook makes it very easy to say “yes” to allowing your friends to check in for you. But when it comes to opting out of that feature, you are only given a “not now” option (aka ask me again later). “No” isn’t one of the easy options."
I'm sure that we will hear much more griping in the following weeks, but Facebook seems to be impervious to negative statements and is still dominating the social networking market. With location apps being all the rage these days, the launch of Places is sure to be a huge hit. If location based social networking is your thing, download the latest update to Facebook as soon as it goes live.