Facebook 'Places' challenges Foursquare

Like Foursquare, the new Facebook Places location identification system allows users with mobile devices to broadcast their location.

Tony Avelar/AP
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the social network site's new localization services called "Places" during a news conference in Palo Alto, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010.

In a further blurring of the online and corporal world, Facebook has announced a new location identification program called "Places." Similar to Foursquare, Places allows Facebook users with mobile devices to broadcast their geographic location to friends, well wishers and cyber-stalkers.

Currently, the program only updates a user's Facebook Places page with their current location, provides information on the whereabouts of their Facebook friends and allows users to share stories and comments about a particular spot. Alas, Places does not yet incorporate any gaming or points systems like Foursquare.

Additionally, to assuage users with privacy concerns, only approved friends can view a user's Place feed in the default setting. Users with a desire to disseminate news of their comings and goings more widely can opt to allow non-friends to view their Places status as well. The only exception to those rules are minors, who's Place location can only be seen by their friends, regardless of how they adjust the settings.

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