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Now How Will I Know Where I Am?
August 23, 2011 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Facebook is phasing out its Places feature as part of a sweeping new privacy-centric redesign.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn (62 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ever since Facebook started getting huge it seems like they have been extremely reactive in their product development. It used to be the weird hodgepodge of walls, groups, and photos, then it acquired the news feed, then with apps it wanted to be classed-up myspace for a while, then Twitter started getting play and so they ditched the old "Silby is…" requirement on status updates and made the timeline more central than the profile; now they are pretty clearly aping the differentiating features that Google+ launched with, such as case-by-case control over sharing targets.
posted by silby at 6:11 PM on August 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


What's annoying is that Facebook Places is one of the few features that I truly love. It's easily replaced Foursquare for me and makes planning my weekends so much easier.

Do something -> check Facebook Places -> go to where most people are -> Check In -> meet more people

I wish they'd get rid of the bit that shows statuses from a year and two years ago. Ugh.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:14 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man I just kind of got used to checking-in places using facebook. It was kind of fun, you could add a pic, see who else was there.
Zoidberg ":( ohhh"
posted by bleep at 6:16 PM on August 23, 2011


This will kill Google+.
posted by monospace at 6:17 PM on August 23, 2011


God I am old.
posted by spicynuts at 6:19 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hooray! Now I don't have to know when my friends husband goes to the bar, to the gym, to the bank, to the bar, to the other bar, and on and on and on.
posted by donajo at 6:21 PM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


This will kill Google+.

No it won't. But it may prevent late adopters from leaving Facebook.
posted by asnider at 6:26 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


My boyfriend is a hesitant and light user of facebook already (all he has is a single profile picture and link to his website) to appease friends and contacts. We were talking a couple hours ago about Google+. "I'm going to stick with facebook. I don't have time to hate two social networks."
posted by phunniemee at 6:29 PM on August 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


Ha! In other news, Wal-Mart to embrace community-building, labor-friendly redesign, Republicans reach out to non-Christians, This American Life acknowledges existence of living, American, black people.

Everything is everything else. Yay!
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 6:32 PM on August 23, 2011


Yeah, I've barely touched Google +
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:32 PM on August 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


I really thought G+ was going to mostly replace FB for me, but this is a step in the right direction for Facebook at a time when the nym stuff means G+ is depopulating. The FB check-ins themselves were neither here nor there but if that means they're getting rid of the constant requests to rate places I've checked in, I'm really happy.
posted by immlass at 6:35 PM on August 23, 2011


I'm rather amused that anybody believes Facebook. They're panicking about G+, that's all. They'll just find other ways to monetize you.
posted by eriko at 6:41 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


if you don't ilke the G+ stance over names, why would you go use FB? Aren't they more or less on a par, as far as requiring that you use your legal name on the site?
posted by jepler at 6:42 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was just telling my roommate the other day that Facebook Places was on the endangered species list because of privacy concerns.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:43 PM on August 23, 2011


I read Facebook daily and don't think I've ever even noticed the check in feature.
posted by octothorpe at 6:44 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read Facebook daily and don't think I've ever even noticed the check in feature.

It really comes into its own on the mobile site. The articles claim that they'll still be doing some location based stuff, so that's a silver lining, but I'm really worried.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:46 PM on August 23, 2011


I wish they'd get rid of the bit that shows statuses from a year and two years ago. Ugh.

You can do your bit to help by using something like CleanMyWall - it deletes all your FB posts from your wall which are older than xth post, where you can choose what x is.

I was SOOOO happy when I found that thing. Within minutes my wall was sparkly clean. <3

Personally I couldn't care less about Places anyway. What FB (and other social networks, really) wants is your data and they'll keep working on the problem until they know Everything about you. I use G+ mostly for MeFi and MeFight Club; most of my IRL acquaintances are stubbornly hanging about on Facebook, plus it's the easiest way for me to arrange my improv workshops.

Network effects.
posted by WalterMitty at 6:54 PM on August 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


if you don't ilke the G+ stance over names, why would you go use FB? Aren't they more or less on a par, as far as requiring that you use your legal name on the site?

Pretty much, if no one complains about you they'll leave you alone. I have probably 50 friends who have multiple profiles (and friend-sets) on the site: Under their real name they're friends with their co-workers, parents, siblings, college dorm floor mates, etc. Under their SCA/Second Life/WoW/con-world/blog names they're friends with their *actual* social network.

On G+, there has been (more or less) wholesale deletion of the names ('nyms') that even seem to be a bit different from the norm, even, in one notable case, where the person was actually using their real (albeit very unusual) given name. (Along the lines of Moon-Unit Zappa, although obviously not her.)
posted by anastasiav at 7:03 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


How will I know who is safe to burgle now?
posted by pompomtom at 7:08 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish that G+ would have a decent events that integrated into Google calendar. I could ditch fb if all my friends started posting shows there.
posted by wcfields at 7:09 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Facebook yay, G+ boo!

Or was that the other way around?
posted by flabdablet at 7:20 PM on August 23, 2011


I haven't noticed any depopulation of Google+ due to their nym policy.
posted by grouse at 7:21 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


My boyfriend is a hesitant and light user of facebook already (all he has is a single profile picture and link to his website) to appease friends and contacts. We were talking a couple hours ago about Google+. "I'm going to stick with facebook. I don't have time to hate two social networks."

I don't hate either social network, but I use FB about as much as your boyfriend, and I can't see any way in which adding a second network does anything for me. I'd have to learn another interface, remember a second password, keep up with a new set of random privacy changes...

If G+ gets popular to the point where it replaces FB with my family and friends, I'll switch my minimal use over to it. But otherwise, it has no relevance in my life, except as a push for Facebook to adopt some better privacy policies.
posted by Forktine at 7:46 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've seen about 10% of my circles lose their G+ account or leave (close account, not just trail off posting) over the last few weeks. Obviously that varies by an individual user's social circles, but my experience is that the people I want to interact with are becoming less active on the service.
posted by immlass at 7:51 PM on August 23, 2011


How about the ability to block all of your friends' posts regarding their children? Could they please hurry the fuck up with that?
posted by secondhand pho at 7:52 PM on August 23, 2011 [28 favorites]


Annoying Friend checked in at the Bris on Foursqin.
Annoying Friend is Mohel of the Bris on Foursqin.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:53 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Social networks are what people do these days instead of having friends.
posted by joannemullen at 8:00 PM on August 23, 2011


The articles claim that they'll still be doing some location based stuff, so that's a silver lining, but I'm really worried.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn


Really? I always thought Places was by far the weakest part of facebook. It was half cooked and god -awful boring. I was rooting for foursquare, and after playing with Places, I knew they had nothing to worry about. And while foursquare has continued (especially lately) to get better, facebook Places has remained the same.

In fact, the only people I've seen that use Places (on my friends list) are non techy friends that believe facebook IS the internet. If it's not part of facebook, they're not using it and probably not aware of it. I wish they'd check into foursquare, which makes it easy to integrate with facebook, but I know that's probably not going to happen. I think the percentage of users on facebook that will miss Places will be marginal at best.

Social networks are what people do these days instead of having friends.
posted by joannemullen


I'm no fan of facebook, but, of course, you can choose to make any social network a network of real friends or people you knew in 3rd grade. But god damn are you witty.
posted by justgary at 8:13 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I tried using Foursquare for a while to check into every single independent coffee shop in my city, but I found that nobody I knew was on Foursquare (or if there were, it was usually people who endlessly update their Twitter with Foursquare announcements, or vice versa).
posted by KokuRyu at 8:25 PM on August 23, 2011


You can still use geotagging for any post on Facebook... it's just taking away the "Places" button on your mobile phone, separating it from the Foursquare style check-ins. Instead of checking in, you just use location tagging in regular status updates and photo captions.

I am glad that Foursquare will be able to continue to capitalize on their original idea without FB cramping their style. Promotions and discounts are a nice recent addition for their users.
posted by erstwhile at 8:28 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


In fact, the only people I've seen that use Places (on my friends list) are non techy friends that believe facebook IS the internet. If it's not part of facebook, they're not using it and probably not aware of it. I wish they'd check into foursquare, which makes it easy to integrate with facebook, but I know that's probably not going to happen. I think the percentage of users on facebook that will miss Places will be marginal at best.

Like I said, its all in how you use it. I have a bunch of loose friends who go to the same few places, so being able to see where everyone is at a glance and say 'hey, meet me there in an hour' is handy. Foursquare was fun (and I used it before FB places) but not everybody was on it and it didn't integrate as well.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:35 PM on August 23, 2011


I just looked for and found the button for Places on the FB app on my phone and there was exactly one friend who had checked in at Boston Market a few days ago. Not very exciting stuff.
posted by octothorpe at 8:47 PM on August 23, 2011


I would use Google+ if everyone else I know on FB switched to Google+. However, not a single friend or family member I know uses it, so it's pretty pointless, because I barely use FB as it is.
posted by Malice at 8:48 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Added to that, Google+ is an awkward name and I dislike it.
posted by Malice at 8:48 PM on August 23, 2011


I am glad that Foursquare will be able to continue to capitalize on their original idea without FB cramping their style.

I think FB is betting/hoping that casual always-available location (on statuses, wall posts, photos ... will end up being far more popular than the explicit check-in model*. I think they might be right. There's also lots of potential for future functionality built on top: for instance photos tagged with location could easily turn into a Color-type experience or tie into business promotions.

* Here's a one-liner that I am releasing under CC share-alike: I got the MILF badge last night on Foursquare. Yeah, I checked into your MOM.
posted by wemayfreeze at 8:59 PM on August 23, 2011


On G+, there has been (more or less) wholesale deletion of the names ('nyms') that even seem to be a bit different from the norm, even, in one notable case, where the person was actually using their real (albeit very unusual) given name.

Google deactivated my Real Name account twice because they believed it was a fake name. The first time I played along and provided proof of my identity. The second time? I fucking shut that down and sent a nasty email to them. It's one thing to make me prove it once. It's totally another thing to do it repeatedly. Fuck that noise.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:13 PM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Places jumped the shark when people started checking in at "My Couch".
posted by The Gooch at 9:33 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


How about the ability to block all of your friends' posts regarding their children? Could they please hurry the fuck up with that?

If it could also block pet pictures, I would sign the fuck up.
posted by fake at 11:10 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Put me in the camp of people who use Facebook and do so reluctantly. As others have said though, its the only place to find certain people who seem to use Facebook as the entire Internet. In fact, its true for a large part of my extended family.

You might ask, as joannmullen sort of does, why not call or visit these family members? And the answer, for me, is that I have 12 aunts and uncles and over 40 first cousins. Most of them live thousands of miles away from me. Seeing the occasional photo of their new baby is almost exactly the level of contact I both can afford and I want. That is, until I can see them again in person.

Incidentally, I think the biggest mistake Google made with Google+ is the same mistake it has made with all its social products. It seeded it with Google employees.

Who you seed a network with is extremely important, possibly the most important decision. Facebook did it with college students - many not very tech savvy but still impressionable and open to new things - who then brought on their friends and family. Google+, at least for me, is still the usual set of nerds I see at other geeky places like foursquare.
posted by vacapinta at 1:32 AM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


People still use Facebook?
posted by sutt at 4:04 AM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm happy that facebook finally deemed this important enough to implement. As much as I would love everyone to move to G+, that's really not what it's about. It's about choice. It's about having an alternative. And it's about competition encouraging change that's good for everyone.

Having said that, I'm still done with facebook. Just don't trust them, no matter how many features they implement. (btw: Facebook changed the security of sessions. No more "https" you have to manually reenable it in Security settings)
posted by ChipT at 4:07 AM on August 24, 2011


I don't have time to hate two social networks.

This is pretty much me, except I haven't even got time for one.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 AM on August 24, 2011


Google+, at least for me, is still the usual set of nerds I see at other geeky places like foursquare.

Yeah, my G+ stream is pretty quiet. Most of the people I circled are the ones who don't feel like oversharing.

I wish they'd get rid of the bit that shows statuses from a year and two years ago. Ugh.

I basically use FB to check someone from long ago's stream-of-consciousness autobiography. New Job! Baby! Moving! New husband! Knitting is fun! Now I'm caught up with some context.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:32 AM on August 24, 2011


How about the ability to block all of your friends' posts regarding their children? Could they please hurry the fuck up with that?

If it could also block pet pictures, I would sign the fuck up.


As a producer of posts, I would like to push messages along "channels" that others have the freedom to subscribe to. So I might set up different channels about different topics (created and whitelisted for privacy in the same way that G+ circles are), my friends interested in those topics can subscribe to them, and when I post, I choose what channel(s) get to see that post. You wouldn't get my pet pictures unless you were subscribed to my pet picture channel.

As a consumer of posts, I may then want to be able to bundle channels into topics. So I'd be able to bundle all of the board-game related channels broadcast by my board-gaming friends and various board-game-designer celebrities into a single topic, "board games". This part is more complicated to implement, more complicated for the user to specify, and less important to me, but it would still be kind of nice.
posted by Jpfed at 5:41 AM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I personally never saw much use for Places OR Foursquare. Why would I want to "check-in" online? That's how people find me!!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:31 AM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know it takes longer to execute thigns in a company as big as Facebook, but I can't help but notice that nearly everything Facebook has done in the last couple months has been a direct copy of a G+ feature.
posted by toekneebullard at 6:40 AM on August 24, 2011


You should see MySpace's awesome new privacy settings.
posted by jasonsmall at 7:10 AM on August 24, 2011


I can't help but notice that nearly everything Facebook has done in the last couple months has been a direct copy of a G+ feature.

Watch GOOG have some absurd patents in the pipe that they're just baiting FB with.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:09 AM on August 24, 2011


As someone who completely eschewed the social networking scene that is Facebook, I find it interesting how much more active I've been on Google+. I blame a new camera with an Eye-Fi card which makes posting high quality images fairly trivial, and the fact that nearly everyone in my circles is either married to me, invited by me, or a mefite. (and in one case, all three).
posted by quin at 8:34 AM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


My G+ is populated with about two people I know in real life, a handful of internet friends, and 100 Metafilter users.
posted by Gordafarin at 10:06 AM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can someone explain the utility or appeal of Foursquare and similar location-based social apps? I mean, one of the principal objections to Twitter is "it's a bunch of people posting what they ate for breakfast and when they took a shit, why do I want to know that. " Once you follow interesting people and interact with them, that objection goes away. So I might say, "Why do I care that Joe is at the grocery store?" Who on earth is that interesting, and what is there to say about it? "Hey, don't forget to pick up toilet paper"?
posted by desjardins at 1:14 PM on August 24, 2011


I think the point is that should you be going out for socialization, you can see where your friends are. Should you be wandering around and in the same shop as your friend from HS it'll tell you.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:19 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I want to see my friends, I email or call them a week ahead of time and negotiate a time and place to get together.
posted by octothorpe at 1:23 PM on August 24, 2011


If I want to see my friends, I email or call them a week ahead of time and negotiate a time and place to get together.

What's the point of being snooty about how you don't use a feature?
posted by Dasein at 1:30 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"As a producer of posts, I would like to push messages along "channels" that others have the freedom to subscribe to. So I might set up different channels about different topics (created and whitelisted for privacy in the same way that G+ circles are), my friends interested in those topics can subscribe to them, and when I post, I choose what channel(s) get to see that post. You wouldn't get my pet pictures unless you were subscribed to my pet picture channel.

As a consumer of posts, I may then want to be able to bundle channels into topics. So I'd be able to bundle all of the board-game related channels broadcast by my board-gaming friends and various board-game-designer celebrities into a single topic, "board games". This part is more complicated to implement, more complicated for the user to specify, and less important to me, but it would still be kind of nice."


So you basically want LiveJournal?

"Social networks are what people do these days instead of having friends."

lurking moar is what newbs are doing these days before spouting tired opinions ripped from last year's late night talk show monologue.
posted by Eideteker at 2:23 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Social networks are what people do these days instead of having friends."

Actually, I don't like doing the friend hang out thing anymore. This is more convenient for me, I can keep up with people I care to without having to spend what little free time I have with them, which means more free time for people more important to me, such as my spouse. I am not and have never been a phone person, just something handed down to me through my father I guess, because he isn't either, so it's not the internet that makes me dislike the phone.

I prefer going out with my significant other most nights and still being able to check in on old friends or distant family - without an awkward phone call.

So you basically want LiveJournal?

To that person's defense, LJ doesn't have quite the social network reach that FB does.
posted by Malice at 3:01 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


So you basically want LiveJournal?

Livejournal was great! But no, I must have miscommunicated my intent. In order to accomplish what I want with LJ, I'd have to maintain multiple topic-oriented LJ usernames (otherwise, how would someone be able to opt themselves into my board game posts but not my pet picture posts)?
posted by Jpfed at 5:02 PM on August 24, 2011


Last I checked, you could subscribe to specific tags, but I may be misremembering. It's a relatively new feature, long after ppl left for facebook.
posted by Eideteker at 5:30 PM on August 24, 2011


Desjardins: there are a couple of things that keep me coming back to Foursquare. I joined when a group of friends all started using it at once, and it was just kind of a conversation sparker; it was fun to arrive at a party at a friend's house, check in, and steal the mayorship from them. Or maybe we haven't seen each other in a while, and a friend comments that he saw me check in at some place last Wednesday, and we talk about that. Or maybe I check in somewhere as I go about my day, and they leave a comment on that checkin, and we stay in touch that way.

Also, I've met a few people at my usual hangout spots by being mayor there; random people have come up to me like, "Hey, aren't you malapropist? Man, I've been trying to steal the mayorship from you forever! You must come here a lot," etc. And then we talk about whatever, and become acquaintances. It's nice.

I kind of started using Foursquare on a lark, and at first it was only the badge earning system that kept me coming back. Over time though, I realized how fun it is to use to relate with other people.

I deliberately never used Places, cuz I figured I was already giving Facebook such a detailed stream of information about myself without throwing my day-to-day whereabouts into the mix. Hopefully Facebook or Google never buys Foursquare, because I'd like to keep those streams separate.
posted by malapropist at 6:03 PM on August 24, 2011


I created two separate pages for my business which has 2 locations within about 15 miles of each other for the sole purpose of complying with their location rigamarole. There is never any marketing advantage to posting something on one page versus the other.

And now this.

Pages set up for businesses never, ever go away. There's no way I can find to delete them or rename them.

Argh.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:06 PM on August 24, 2011


Hopefully Facebook or Google never buys Foursquare, because I'd like to keep those streams separate.
posted by malapropist at 6:03 PM on August 24 [+] [!]


I'm pretty sure Foursquare won't be selling to Google anytime soon, as the main guy behind Foursquare earlier created another locative media thingy called Dodgeball which was acquired by Google, and he wasn't entirely satisfied about how that turned out, so left to start Foursquare.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 3:27 PM on August 25, 2011


A friend of mine reports that one of the new FB features that lets you limit your posts also shows the name of the list you've shared it to on the post. So if your list is named "crazy relatives" all the people on the list can see that name when you post to it. (As opposed to G+, which shows "limited" but you can see who else it's shared with.)

One of my friends discovered this the hard way today. She is not pleased.
posted by immlass at 11:48 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


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