Facebook Places has been launched in US and will soon reach probably the rest of the world. Some deaths are being discussed (Foursquare) as we try find out what Facebook places will mean for people and marketers.
Facebook for marketing as other geo-location services has a huge potential but how the potential turns out depends on the inventiveness of companies in adding more meaning to checking in. Checking-in is fun, especially in the first phase. It is like a game. The thrill of becoming a mayor, getting the badge. Then comes competitiveness. Ousting your friends from places and taking over their mayorship. Trying the first specials...and it appears there are no more specials near you. You just check-in less and less often. You ask yourself - why I should check-in. You lack the purpose. I believe the success of Facebook places for business will depend on the sense of purpose it manage to deliver to people.
As it goes for people, Facebook places will make geo-location accessible to broader audience. It will be another tool for sharing with friends where we are and what we are doing. As my colleague Lara wrote in her post on privacy: "Places provides us with another way of keeping tabs on our friends, of letting people know what we’re up to, of sharing what is basically unnecessary information with anyone and everyone we choose. It’s also another foray in to our private world, and will no doubt meet harsh critique from users who suddenly realise that what is actually private about their lives is diminishing at a very rapid rate."
Watch how you can check in with Facebook Places