Facebook might be about to give the kiss of death to the likes of Foursquare and Gowalla, with their new mobile location-awareness service cleverly titled Facebook Places. The service launched last night as part of the latest Facebook update for the iPhone (and available at touch.facebook.com), but is “unavailable” in the Indianapolis region upon my own personal testing. Just like many other geo-tagging services, when users log into their mobile app, a string of places nearby are listed that users can “check in” at, tag their friends, and post a text update that will appear on friends’ news feeds.
A feature that you users want to consider looking into is “People Here Now,” which gives a list of your Facebook friends that recently tagged themselves nearby your check-in location. Those of you that have many “friends” on Facebook that you don’t actually know, you may want to reconsider giving them personal information about your location and the fact that you aren’t at your house. But, all underage users of the service will lack “Here Now” visibility to anyone but their friends.
However, Betanews reports that Facebook has made its Places API available to the services that would otherwise have been its biggest competitors. Foursquare, Gowalla, Booyah, and Yelp were all present at Facebook’s launch announcement.
So, goodbye Foursquare? Yes. PC World thinks so, too.