Facebook: in the right Places at the right time
Social media is no longer just about who you are and what you like – it’s increasingly about where you are. Facebook Places went live in the U.K. today, just as we read about McDonald’s latest success with a Foursquare marketing campaign. Is the enthusiasm for location services confined to early adopters, or are we seeing the start of a much wider phenomenon?
The potential for Facebook Places is enormous. With its half-billion users worldwide, Facebook could dwarf the participation levels which Foursquare achieves. But how many of those millions of people will be willing to give up yet another aspect of their online privacy for, say, a hamburger?
These examples, and others too, have been successful. So everyone’s happy, right? Well, we have to wonder whether the success is because these customers take a very relaxed approach to managing their privacy online or whether they don’t fully understand the implications of what they are revealing. (Check out This TechRadar guide for some interesting points to ponder.)
With the arrival of Facebook Places, it seems clear that location-based social networking (and with it marketing) will soon become part of the online mainstream. And even if we don’t know where this brave new world of social connectivity will take us, at least we will know where we and our friends are at any given time. Oh, and so will a legion of online marketers.