Why Facebook Places Will Succeed… and Why I Won’t Be Using It

I’m a bit of a sucker for new toys – and with the UK launch of Facebook Places last week I just had to try it out. I’m already on Foursquare, so I get the whole checking in thing, but what does Facebook Places have to offer that the other services don’t?

In short, Facebook Places offers a massive user base. Foursquare has nearly three million users, while Facebook reports over five hundred million. Foursquare is good, but Facebook Places has just put location check-ins in front of a whole load more people… including your mostly technophobic Aunt May (you know, the one with the moustache).

Aunt May will make Places a success

OK, maybe not Aunt May specifically, but the sheer number of people Places is available to, including people who would never normally think of location services, gives it a huge lead over other services. All those people who keep telling you in their status that they’ve popped out to ASDA for some shopping can now use a dedicated interface to do the same thing, assuming they’ve got a suitably equipped mobile phone.

I guess this is a bit like the Ping social network that Apple recently launched. The sheer number of iTunes users will, I’m sure, make Ping a success, and the sheer number of Facebook users will make Places a success.

So, why won’t I be using it?

Honestly, it’s just this: I can’t be bothered. I’m already seriously waning in my love of Foursquare and, while it’s been fun to collect mayorships, I can’t see the point in broadcasting my location any longer. Facebook Places lacks the mayorship element at the moment, so it’s just about telling people where you are… and I’ve never done that on Facebook before. So why would I start now?

I understand the social element of tagging the people who are there with you but I figure they already know they’re there with me, so do I need to tell them via Facebook?

I’m fully aware I’m coming across as a grumpy old man, but I think I really have had my time with location check-ins… except for trying to score that free pizza for being mayor of Domino’s obviously.

What’s your experience with Facebook Places, Foursquare, or any of the other check-in services? Are you finding them useful? Fun? Or are they a bit pointless? I’d love to know your thoughts – feel free to share them in the comments.

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  1. I kept seeing references to FB places and I was thinking that I really need to start using it.

    But then I read your line “…so it’s just about telling people where you are… and I’ve never done that on Facebook before.”

    Neither have I, so thanks for giving me a reason not to start!