Why Foursquare has nothing to worry about concerning Facebook Places

Published Friday, August 20, 2010 10:05 AM

Facebook announced and rolled out a new feature on Wednesday called Facebook Places. It's a location based check-in system that works just like foursquare, google buzz, Yelp, and others. People are of course freaking out about this for several reasons.

First of all people are freaking out because once again it's a default feature and forces you to opt out rather than opt in. People are also freaking out because Facebook places lets you checkin your friends as well, which seems a bit odd and an invasion of their privacy.

On the complete other side you have the people who are so excited they can hardly contain themselves.   They are claiming it's a Foursquare killer already and that Facebook Places is going to destroy Foursquare. I don't think this is going to be the case at all and I'll tell you why.

I have never really gotten into location based check-ins, but I have used Foursquare a little. The best part about Foursquare, and what got me excited about it, was the reasons to check-in. Why is it fun to check-in? Not because your friends can see the places you like or  potentially meet up with you but because with Foursquare is a game.

Foursquare allows you to unlock badges for accomplishing certain tasks and you can be crowned mayor if you check-in at a particular place the most. In fact local restaurants have began to offer special deals and discounts to mayors of their establishments to get people to patron their establishment more often. You get points for checking in and it keeps track of your of stats. You can use it to find great places and events in your local area as well as leave tips for other people to read when they are close by.

It's so much more than just a message that says “Will is Here at some Bar!” For people who love games and competition Facebook's Places will never be as fun as Foursquare. The only thing that Facebook has on Foursquare is that it already has all your friends. I don't play Foursquare that much because I don't have friends on Foursquare. It's seems kind of pointless to check-in if no one is there to comment  or say anything. I don't think Foursquare is going anywhere, unless Facebook adds fun features to Places like a point system and something similar to badges and Mayorship.

Oh and just a little tip for using the Bing map on Facebook Places, if you want to view the map in Aerial, Birds Eye, or go back to Road view, just hit A , B , or R and the Map will switch views. They disabled the menu but the shortcuts still work.
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