So it’s finally here. Predictions:

  1. Facebook Places will (and probably already has) become the Twitter of location check-ins.  Anyone creating an application that relies on check-ins will need to use Facebook Places as its foundation.  And anyone who didn’t know what a check-in was two days ago probably knows what it is now.
  2. This is actually awesome news for everyone, maybe even Foursquare, GoWalla, MyTown and the rest of the location-based-service crowd.  Let Facebook spend the resources refining how check-ins work, maintaining the integrity of the local data, etc.  Let everyone else build cool stuff on top of it and add value, kind of like the way Twitter works.  In a way this is a blessing in disguise for the Yellow Pages crowd.  They can jump-start a location-based effort much faster, instead of being left in the dust by all of the cool kids at the party.  Not that you’re not cool YP guys.  You’re beautiful babe, don’t ever change (that is unless you want to survive).
  3. Maybe you don’t want to rely on Facebook check-ins as your backbone.  It’s pretty easy to spam and I wonder if Facebook is going to spend the resources to solve that problem.  As my brother-in-law commented as soon as I had checked into the Pleasanton Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints while sitting in my bedroom, “What?”  (Note to HBO, there is a potential Big Love viral thing here).  So I believe there is a lot of potential for the Foursquares of the world to create a more secure version of check-ins that solve these kinds of issues and become the necessary way that businesses interact with the system.
  4. This is going to get a lot more businesses involved with the whole check-in thing.  When you see your cousins start checking in all over the place you are going to start to put two and two together.  And when you see your first customer check in perhaps the light bulb will go on in your head.  And when you see that people start commenting when your check in shows up in friends’ feeds maybe then you’ll realize that businesses that don’t have a giant “Check In On Facebook Places & Get A Free Cup of Coffee/Tire Inspection/Spinal Exam/EyeGlass Tune Up/Happy Ending, etc” sign are missing out on perhaps the cheapest, most efficient form of viral marketing there is.
  5. And don’t even get me started on the SEO implications of having a crawlable Facebook Places Page for every business out there.

Well played Facebook.

Further reading on the subject:
5 Reasons Why Facebook Pages is Kind of a Big Deal (Duct Tape Marketing)
Facebook Places How To Avoid Getting Caught Out By Your Partner (
Announcing Facebook Places for Advertisers (Facebook)
Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Places (The Next Web)
Local Search War Gets Hot: Facebook Joins the Game (David Mihm)
Facebook Places Launches (Failbook)

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4 Response Comments

  • David  August 20, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Can I get you started on #5?

    Seriously; after reading your very-interesting & eye-opening post (right on the heels of David Mihm’s “Risk” analogy blog post), I actually would like to hear more on the implications of crawlable FB pages SEO-wise.

    btw: Isn’t FB not crawlable?

    When FB introduced the like button, I figured they’d *someday* open up its “likes” database to be crawled by Google, figuring the big G would pony up big bucks like it did for Twitter (they pay through the nose for that, right?)

    Anyway, I would definitely like to hear more about your thoughts on SEO implications.


  • Andrew Shotland  August 20, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Facebook Pages are crawlable, but it’s not clear yet that Facebook Places pages with check-ins are showing up in the indexes. At least I haven’t seen them yet.

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  • Josefina Argüello  September 6, 2010 at 6:17 am

    I hate that these new features are automatically turned on. You basically have to police your profile daily to see they haven’t changed your settings without your permission.

    I’m so tempted to disable facebook altogether but unfortunately my mother in South Africa would be annoyed.

    I don’t understand the appeal of facebook places or Four Square. I don’t think people realize that lots of people stalk your social media profiles, do you really want them to stalk you in person now?

    Josefina Argüello – Posicionamiento en Buscadores