Facebook offers a new services which allows users to tell their connected friends not only what they are doing but also where they are situated: Facebook Places is born.
With Facebook Places you can connect your status updates or pictures with a place. Where was this nice picture of lions taken? Where did this guy puke after drinking too much alcohol? Where are you stuck in your car? From now on you will be able to pass this information to your friends. To use this new services you have to be in possession of an iPhone or other mobile devices which are able to determinate your position. Facebook then show not only the coordinates of your position but also the country, city and even the name of the restaurant, bar or club you are situated. Facebook users are able to control who sees this information: your friends, only a specific group or person or the whole world.
This service is not new. Before Facebook launched Places internet users had been able to use Gowalla, Yelp, Booyah or Foursquare to localize and share their position. But the integration of Places to Facebook brings a easy to use localization service to a mass-market and more than half a billion users.
With Places Facebook will accelerate the process of becoming a central interface and service provider for internet applications. But also a collector of data.
And this data can be used to develop new forms of online advertising. Shops and service provider will soon be able to lay claim to a specific place and to advertise this place within the community. Loyal customers who frequently visit a shop or a bar could be rewarded with vouchers like a free beer. That’s customer loyalty at its best! Prospects could be lured with a discount to a restaurant when they are nearby. That’s customer acquisition at its best!
What do you thing?