Facebook now has over 500 million users and in the last week the social network launched a new feature in the US called Places. It will allow you as a user to say where you are. It will allow you to see where your friends are. And if you are a business, it will let you claim your 'Places' and get to know its activity better than you've been able to before.
Facebook has been very busy lately. It has recently launched Questions, threaded comments, ad reviews, multi-user advertising accounts, and no more boxes.
If you are a brand and looking for what Facebook Places means for you from a PR or marketing perspective, here are 10 things you might like to know and to think about in advance of its UK launch:
[Pic courtesy of Digital Influence Mapping Project]
- As a company, register your place before someone else does, so you can see user activity. Inside Facebook shows you how to do this here
- Facebook Places works from the user's phone, not their computer. Users will need an iPhone or HTML5 on their mobile browser to be able to use it
- Places should be here in the UK soon. It does currently work in the UK, but only in Private Beta for employees (as referenced in this Tweet). So launch will happen when Facebook decides, probably no need for a lengthy wait for technology to be ready
- Your default settings will be opt-in. Places will not be automatically recording users' location
- Security settings will be default set to private, but users will be able to share more widely (we anticipate this being allowed to be totally open, so open check-ins will be visible to all visitors to a venue)
- Friends will be able to check one-another into places. The same as how a photo can have one user tag many people. This could make real life places into viral events
- If you're in the UK and you want to take a look, refresh your app and you'll see Places live in there. You'll only be able to see what your friends in the US are doing with Places, but it's a way to get to see what it will look and feel like