The web is once again buzzing over Facebook. This time it is over Facebook’s latest feature, Places. Places allows you to check into different locations and tell your friends about it.
Why there is so much hype about this latest feature is beyond me. Have people not heard of FourSquare? It does the exact same thing and has been around for longer than Facebook Places.
In thinking about it, Facebook has continuously come up short in the field of originality. Here is what I mean:
-Before Facebook there was Myspace (complete with pictures, walls, messaging, profiles, surveys, and headlines).
-Before Facebook Notes there were numerous blogging websites (Myspace had blogging capabilities as well).
-Before Facebook Marketplace there was Craigslist.
-Before Questions on Facebook there was Yahoo Answers.
What’s next, copying Myspace’s ability to play songs on your profile? Adding a breaking news feature? Coming up with something better than notes to allow people to create actual blogs on Facebook? Whatever it is, chances are it will be lacking in the originality department.
In any case, the two most recent features, Questions and Places, have been so poorly implemented it seems like virtually no one understood them when they came out. Questions was randomly thrown into the mix with virtually no warning, and I can guarantee I saw more than a few of my friends use the feature to ask “What the heck is this?” Granted people have begun to figure it out and learn how to use it, but not with any guidance or explanation from Facebook.
Places is similar. Apparently the feature is there (you can find it in your privacy settings), but I have yet to see any of my friends use it, probably because no one has figured out how yet. Facebook hasn’t taken the time to explain the feature, how it works, or how to use it via one of those brilliant mass messages they put at the top of your homepage.
I’m not impressed by Facebook Places, and I’m not quite sure why so many people are talking about it. Not only do I have no clue how to use it, but apparently (unlike Foursquare) check-ins don’t come with the option of posting or not posting updates to Facebook. You have to change your privacy settings in order to prevent people from knowing where you are. Yet another brilliant Facebook privacy move. You can always count on Facebook to ensure your privacy without you having to change any settings (sarcasm people, complete sarcasm).
If anyone can explain the hype, please enlighten me. What is so great about Facebook Places?