Moments ago, Facebook launched a product that allows users to check-in from their location. It looks a LOT like the Foursquare app from New York startup Foursquare Labs.You open the app and it uses GPS to suggest locations where you may be. If your location isn’t in the list, you can search for it. Once you find the location, you click a big bar button that says “check-in.” This checks you in and takes you to a location page that shows which of your friends are at the location right now or have been there in the past. The app sends push notifications to in real time to alert them if their friends are near by.
If much of that sounds familiar, it’s because most of it is a straight rip-off of Dennis Crowley’s Foursquare.
The bad news for Foursquare is that Facebook’s 500 million users won’t care that Facebook got the idea for this product from elsewhere. Unfair or not, they are going to love it and use it – a lot.
A Foursquare VP at the event said what will differentiate his startup app’s from Facebook’s clone are “the gaming element, our badges, the mayor system.” We’re not sure we buy it.
Here are some screenshots of the new feature: