Facebook just announced plans to abandon the "Places" feature inside its mobile application, making location information just a standard part of mobile status updates.
According to Jay Yarow of Business Insider:
"This looks like a tacit admission that Foursquare is winning the check-in battle, after Facebook failed to crush the upstart despite an incredibly large mobile userbase. What worked for Foursquare didn't work for Facebook. Now Facebook will have to figure out its own way to get users sharing location data instead of copying Foursquare. Meanwhile, Foursquare which is chugging along, rapidly rolling out new features like event checkins and lists, making the service more and more useful than just checking and telling your friends where you are. So, round 1 to Foursquare. We'll see what happens in round 2 as Facebook tries another tactic."
Facebook also announced it had rethought privacy settings. According to Luke Brynley-Jones of OurSocialTimes:
"It comes as a reaction to Google+'s Circles feature (which has been widely praised for it's usability), is enormously satisfying. Not only do we now have some real competition among social networks. that competition is starting to make them better. Excellent! "
How Big is Too Big?
When Facebook launched it's places I did worry for my beloved Foursquare, but I'm glad to see that in this case, David has won over Goliath. Facebook is increasing it's stranglehold over every aspect of the social web. While I'm an avid Facbook user, I sometimes wonder if they are going too far. Will there come a point where people get annoyed with sheer magnitude of the platform and segment into smaller, more targeted networks. Maybe one targeted to kids with an "edu" address as an exclusive network... oh wait... has that been done? ;)
-Image Source: http://oursocialtimes.com