Facebook just launched a new feature called Places, which has been in the work for around eight months. TechCrunch discovered Places back in May, when everyone in the tech community was speculating about the possibility of a similar feature for Facebook. At the time, the Facebook team was in the middle of developing Places, and the touchscreen version (touch.facebook.com) of the site threw an error because of the then-nonexistent feature.
Places is currently available on touch.facebook.com and will be available on the Facebook iPhone app. There’s no word on its functionality elsewhere yet, like, oh I don’t know, for Blackberry or Android. The premise sounds just like the many other check-in sites available: go to a place and check yourself in. There’s one other thing Facebook will let you do: check your friends in. This will not end well.
Gizmodo covers the consequences quite nicely. With Foursquare, you’re checking yourself in, and the user–one person–chooses to broadcast or hide those check-ins. With Facebook, an entire network of friends is involved. If a friend checks you in, their friends see your check-in, and depending on your friend’s privacy settings, the entire Internet could see where you’ve been. And if you’re not checking yourself in via Facebook, why would you want your careless friend who doesn’t give a flip about what they broadcast to do so on your behalf?
I thought so. Go to your privacy settings and make your decision. Friends don’t let friends check each other in on Facebook.