Facebook launches Facebook Places

Facebook Places
Facebook Places is only available in the US for the moment, though the iPhone app has been updated on the UK App Store

Update: Facebook Places has now launched in the UK - check out our hands-on review.

Facebook has announced Facebook Places – an app that enables you to post location-specific information to Facebook.

Sadly, it's only available in the US for the moment, though we're sure it won't be too long until it rolls out to the UK – and the Facebook iPhone app has already been updated on the UK App Store.

So does this mean the end of Foursquare? Perhaps, Facebook is even using Foursquare's check in terminology to describe the action of, er, checking in.

The social networking site has issued a full 3.2 update to its iPhone app, while touch.facebook.com also supports Facebook Places on other handsets – providing your browser is HTML5 compatible.

A button in the mobile apps (see image above) enables you to check in, and the workings are extremely similar to Foursquare, as you'll be presented with a list of nearby places to select from (or add your own).

In the UK, the iPhone app has the Places button in place, but tap it and you're told it isn't yet available here.

"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," says Michael Sharon, Facebook product manager for Places, in a blog post.

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.

"Like tagging you in a photo"

"When you check in, you can also tag friends who are with you, just as you can tag a friend in a status update or photo," continues Sharon. "You can post an update along with your check-in to tell people more about what you are doing. In the 'People Here Now' section, you can see others who are checked in with you at that place." You're also able to see who has been to a location before.

Only your friends will be able to see when you visit or are tagged at a place, unless you have specifically set your master privacy control to Everyone. You also have the choice to set more restrictive customised settings. When a friend tags you through Places, you will receive a notification on Facebook and on your mobile device.

"The first time this happens, you'll be given the choice to allow your friends to check you in to places. When your friends check you in, it is as if you have checked in at that place yourself. You can always remove any Places check-in or tag using your mobile device or on the web. It's like removing yourself from a photo tag." You can also choose for friends to not be able to check you in.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.