Feeds

Facebook ditches Places - but embiggens location tracking

How many icons will appear on Zuck's global bitch-map?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Facebook is abandoning its Places feature after just one year since it launched the function – at the same time, location settings within the social network are being ramped up.

The company buried the news yesterday that Places would be "going away" in a blog post announcing Facebook's latest "privacy" tweaks.

"In the same way we know people want to say who they're with or what they want to talk about, we also know people like to say where [sic] are or where they are off to – in order to help people do this we created 'check-ins'," said Facebook.

"We have now matured the 'check-in' and your chosen location can now be tagged in your posts by any device (mobile or laptop). This is an opt-in function and can be as broad as a town or country, or specific as your favourite pub."

Previously, Places was a separate function clumsily bolted on to Facebook that could only be used via smartphones.

The location changes will gradually be rolled into Facebook over the next few weeks starting tomorrow (25 August). The firm will turn the function off by default, in a clear effort to appease privacy campaigners, who are increasingly scrutinising the social network's settings.

Facebook, of course, is in the business of data-farming. Like other interwebs players it shares that information – in an anonymised form – with advertisers.

And users who enable the new location settings can expect more granular results. For example, a person no longer has to be physically standing in the KFC off Piccadilly Circus to geo-tag it in a Facebook post.

All of this links nicely into the company's Deals offering, which is a Groupon-like service to encourage Facebook users to snap up local coupon discounts at coffee shops, retail outlets and so on.

Arguably, the location changes are about to clog up Facebook's News Feed with much more ad-related content, given that it is becoming a central part of the social network. That's because any "friends" that opt-in to the service will be broadcasting to the world exactly which coffee house or fried-chicken joint they're hanging out in.

Meanwhile, a Facebook spokeswoman downplayed early reports about the privacy changes that suggested the company was simply competing with Google+ on how it handles its social graph.

"Naturally people are going to make comparisons but these are changes that Facebook has been working on for six months in order to make sure it is right for users and that it can be scaled for the 750 million users on Facebook," she said.

"So not something that has been developed as a response to Google+, it has been developed in response to what we're hearing from people who use Facebook." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.