Maybe we’re just used to quickly reading headlines or tweets and drawing assumptions, but when Facebook announced it was integrating location into a status update people seemed to get it wrong. A roar went up that Foursquare has “won.”
I think Facebook’s move is less about bowing to Foursquare and more about realizing that location is just one part of the story – the who, what, where, when. You could say the Place has been put in its place, it’s not the status itself but rather an add-on. I’m cool with this as I don’t mind when people check-in on Facebook, but I like it a lot better when they add some commentary as well. So you’re at a restaurant…is it good? What are you eating? Let’s personalize this check-in a bit.
With the new location roll out you will still be able to use deals, you will still be able to let your friends know your locations, it’s just that the stand alone check-in function is slowly being replaced with a location tag…similar to tacking on a photo or a link to a status. This option will also allow you to go back and tag vacation photos with a location without actually being there and will allow you to tag places for future events from your mobile phone or desktop. “Can’t wait to visit (tag it).”
Who knows how this will ultimately play out, but I do think it is a bit premature to say Facebook is out of the location game. I also think we all (myself included) need to read the full story rather than the headlines.