Facebook Places Launches – Check In Service Similar to Foursquare and Gowalla

Starting today, you can immediately tell people about that favorite spot with Facebook Places. You can share where you are and the friends you’re with in real time from your mobile device.



Checking In with Friends


Ever gone to a show, only to find out afterward that your friends were there too? With Places, you can discover moments when you and your friends are at the same place at the same time.


You have the option to share your location by “checking in” to that place and letting friends know where you are. You can easily see if any of your friends have also chosen to check in nearby.


To get started, you’ll need the most recent version of the Facebook application for iPhone. You also can access Places from touch.facebook.com if your mobile browser supports HTML 5 and geolocation.


Go to Places on the iPhone application or touch.facebook.com site and then tap the “Check In” button. You’ll see a list of places near you. Choose the place that matches where you are. If it’s not on the list, search for it or add it. After checking in, your check-in will create a story in your friends’ News Feeds and show up in the Recent Activity section on the page for that place.


Example of a Place page on the iPhone application.


Places is only available in the United States right now. But we expect to make it available to more countries and on additional mobile platforms soon.

Is Facebook places going to force some of the Foursquares, Gowallas and the Yelps of the world to check out because they can’t compete with the budget, might and userbase of Facebook? Have you tried any of these location-based social networking games yet? How much harder will it be to become the Facebook Places version of “mayor” of your hometown Starbucks now?