Facebook Doing Location Is Like Google Doing Social, Almost

Facebook logoImage via WikipediaChecking in is not the starting point of your Facebook experience, and that is why Facebook is not a threat to FourSquare in the location space. If Facebook is smart, it will just help its users more closely integrate FourSquare into their Facebook experience. One thing I would like is to have the option to have a much greater control over who I share my check-ins with.

But chances are Facebook will try and offer a FourSquare substitute. I am looking at Twitter here. Facebook "learned" features from Twitter and FriendFeed. It outright bought FriendFeed. Buying FourSquare is not an option. Copying FourSquare is harder than copying Twitter.

This Is Not Happening: King Dennis

FourSquare is inherently a mobile web thing. You could add blogging features to my Gmail account, but Gmail is a different experience. You could argue Facebook has also thrived in the mobile web environment. But it started as a big screen web native. The mobile version is Facebook Lite. There is no FourSquare Lite. I have felt stupid every time I have visited the FourSquare homepage on the big screen web. It feels like sitting in a bus that is not moving.

I have no idea how Facebook will roll out location. It was inevitable that it was going to, but the details have not been obvious to me personally. It is because there is an inherent conflict in what I think Facebook should be doing in the location space, and what I suspect it might end up doing instead in that space. And so I have decided to just wait and watch.

Facebook could not have stayed away from the location space, but it has the option to do it right.

TechCrunch: As Facebook Location Looms, Has Foursquare Entered The Pantheon Of Services?: it seems highly likely the Facebook is going to take a platform approach to location. That is, they’re more likely to federate other location streams (such as Foursquare’s) while they themselves remain fairly cautious with their own location services..... Facebook likely has a deal in place with Localeze to build out a massive place database that they’ll then populate with all this data they’re federating and creating on their own.....I remember very well when it seemed like just about everything I read on the Internet said that Twitter was the dumbest service ever imagined and it would never go anywhere .....they run the risk of becoming the Friendster of location
AllThingsD: What Will Facebook Be Announcing Wednesday? Location, Location, Location!: Facebook will finally be rolling out its own geo-location offering .... a long time coming, as Facebook has noodled on how to incorporate the hot trend
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