When a Facebook user checks in to a place, Facebook blasts that to friends news feeds. We haven’t been able to test Facebook Places yet so we don’t know if you can turn that off, but if you can’t it’s going to get pretty annoying pretty fast for your Facebook friends.
How do we know? Well, first of all, people get annoyed about everything on Facebook that’s new. Second of all, we’ve already seen it with Foursquare.
Foursquare lets its users blast out their location on Twitter. We’ve regularly seen complaints from people on Twitter saying, “I don’t care where you are,” or “I wish I could block all Foursquare tweets.”
At least with Foursquare, you have an option to keep it strictly in Foursquare, if you don’t want to share it with Twitter or Facebook. With Facebook, it appears as though you’ll always have to broadcast your location.
It would be nice to be able to check in with out putting the information in the news feed. No offence to certain distant relatives or distant in-laws, but we don’t really care or need to know if you’re at the grocery store in California. And frankly, sometimes we don’t want you to know where we are.
This highlights one of the few opportunities Foursquare has to beat Facebook in location. When people signed up for Facebook it wasn’t so they could broadcast their whereabouts. When people sign up with Foursquare its ONLY to broadcast their whereabouts.
Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley told us earlier this year that one problem with Facebook getting into the location game is that you’re not really friends with everyone that’s a friend on Facebook. You have a lot of casual acquantainces on there. Do they want to be annoyed with a news alert for when you’re at a restaurant?
See Also: The Implications Of Facebook’s “Places”
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