Facebook Adds ‘Places’ Feature for Real-time Location Sharing

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Facebook has jumped into the location sharing pool with its new recently-announced “Places” feature. The feature is available from within the Facebook iPhone app or at touch.facebook.com from any mobile browser that supports both HTML5 and geolocation via your phone’s GPS chip.

The “check in” process is as simple as tapping the Places link from within the app and then choosing from a list of nearby locations, stores, or addresses. Once you’ve checked in, an update will appear on your Facebook page and any of your Facebook friends can see where you are.

You can tag friends who are with you wherever you check in, similar to how you can tag friends in various photos. Furthermore, there’s a “People Here Now” section that shows you other Facebook users in your area. You can disable this feature for your own account if you don’t want Facebook strangers to know when you’ve checked in nearby.

Your friends can also check you in by tagging you as nearby when they check in, though you can opt out of this feature as well.

You’ll also be able to share your check ins with third-party Facebook applications, which will likely pave the way for location-based coupons for nearby stores and other mobile marketing initiatives.

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