What Is Facebook Places?

Facebook Places is a location-based service that is now available in the UK.  Users sign into Facebook Places using their mobile phones and let their friends know where they are. Other examples of popular location-based services include Google LatitudeFoursquare and Gowalla.

What Facebook Places could mean for your business

Your businesses need to be aware of Facebook Pages because some of Facebook’s 500 million users (your customers) will be using it. Local businesses need to claim their business location on Facebook Places to take advantage of the marketing opportunites on offer.

  • Location based services are great for businesses because they can use these services to entice people to come into their location.
  • Facebook pages can increase the exposure of your business to more people. Every time someone checks in their friends news feed is updated to show this and raise your visibility online.
  • You can encourage visitors to check in at your ‘Place’. You could offer checked-in visitors a discount or one off exclusive item.
  • You can target local people with Facebook Ads. The targeting on Facebook Ads is very specific, so you could target users from your and point them towards your places page.

How do i sign up for Facebook places?

To get started, you’ll need the most recent version of the Facebook application for iPhone. You also can access Places from touch.facebook.com if your mobile browser supports HTML 5 and geolocation.

  • Go to Places on the iPhone application or touch.facebook.com site and then tap the “Check In” button. You’ll see a list of places near you.
  • Choose the place that matches where you are.
  • If it’s not on the list, search for it or add it.
  • After checking in, your check-in will create a story in your friends’ News Feeds and in the Recent Activity section on the page for that place.

How to change Facebook places privacy settings

You will need to check your privacy settings to make sure that you are only sharing your location with people you want to find you! Facebook has obviously built solid privacy settings around this.  See the official how to video below….

Facebook’s stab at geo location services looks like its going to be a huge success – its modelled on on user experience. The product manager of Facebook Places has said…“Our products are modelled on how people are already using the site… We realised people were already posting where they were and who they were with every day.”

The feature called “Here Now” brings up a list of strangers at a given location who have agreed their location can be widely shared. Great if you want to know the hippest place in town or if you want to start a revolution.

At present there are a select few (mainly geeky types) on location based services like Foursquare and Gowalla but with over 52 million Facebook users, Facebook Places looks like it’s going mainstream. I do feel that the need to have a ‘flashy phone’ makes it out of reach to people on low incomes it may be a little while before texting ‘I’m on the bus’ is a thing of the past. Find out more about Facebook places on the Facebook blog.

Not on Facebook yet? What are you waiting for – get your Facebook Business Page now!

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