Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced the company’s new location service, “Facebook Places” yesterday. The feature will allow Facebook users to “check in” to various locations, showing their online friends where they are in the real world.
So let’s say you or your kids are shopping, you could “check in,” telling your friends your exact mall location. Another feature would let you see other Facebook users currently in that specific location.
I’m already nervous about posting photos of my kids on Facebook. Would I be willing to announce, “hey I’m at the park with my kids”? Or if you have tweens or teenagers announcing their every move, would that worry you?
Would I want to reveal my exact location? More importantly, would I want my kids to be announcing where they are?
Maybe I sound a little paranoid but if someone really wanted to, they would easily be able to locate me or my kids. But as “Places” project manager Michael Sharon says, “This is not about broadcasting your location to the world, it’s about sharing where you are with your friends.”
“Check ins” on Facebook are a choice. Users decide when and where they want to publicize their location, and aspects of the feature can be modified using the site’s privacy controls. Facebook users can also opt-out of the service entirely.
Will you be checking in on Facebook Places, or will you opt-out?