As it continues to subscribe to the philosophy of “anything you can do, I can do better” Facebook will soon roll out its own location based program “Places” to rival services like FourSquare and Gowalla. Since establishing its base, now 500 million strong, the ultimate social network has not been shy in modeling itself after external offerings such as Twitter, AIM, and Yahoo! Answers. This newest service, similar to FourSquare will educate the user on physically close businesses based on their interests and their friends’ experiences.
The idea has been met with some disconcert as anything pertaining to privacy, especially something as personal as location, has never been a strong point for Facebook. Additionally, some believe the engagement level of players within these location based services will one day cause the demise of traditional media.
Regardless of speculation, this latest endeavor definitely has the potential to greatly increase Facebook’s overall goal of interconnectedness.
On another note, page owners may have observed that Facebook is trimming down for their new layout to be released in late August. Custom tabs for Fan Pages will now be limited to 520 pixels (previously 755 pixels). Also, the boxes and boxes tab will soon be gone for good.
This will definitely impact the user’s visual experience and enable Facebook to provide larger advertising. Most impacted by this alteration will be page owners who have already invested time and money into elaborate applications for their pages.