Facebook checks in to location-based services with Places

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg late on Wednesday announced the company’s latest creation, a foray into the world of location-based services calledFacebook Places.
“This is going to be a really fun and interesting summer,” said Zuckerberg at the start of the evening. “We’ve got a lot of new products coming out.” T
The first of these new products — Places — is a smartphone-based service that takes on much of the functionality provided by existing services such as Foursquare and Yelp.
Facebook Places is designed to do three main things:
• Help people share where they are in a social way.
• See which friends are nearby.
• Discover nearby places and new places through friends’ profiles.
Michael Sharon, Facebook’s product manager for Places, demonstrated the service’s capabilities, most of which appear functionally identical to the features already popularized by Foursquare. Through an updated version of the iPhone app or by browsing to touch.facebook.com on a mobilebrowser, users will find a main menu that shows nearby friends and offers a list of nearby places to check into.Choose a place from the list and tap the “check in” button to check in, or tap the plus symbol to add a new place, and users will see a security notice explaining that they’re about to share their location. The service also includes the ability to tag friends who are in the same location and check them in at the same time because, as Sharon explained, not everyone has a smartphone that supports Places yet.

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