That Facebook Places Twitter account we spotted yesterday wasn’t the real deal after all. But Facebook Places is. The long-awaited Facebook location service was unveiled at a Palo Alto press event last night and it looks like it could be the ultimate location app, dragging other location apps like Foursquare and Gowalla into its orbit…

Facebook Places is only available in the US right now but its UK arrival seems imminent. American social networking addicts can currently access it through touch.facebook.com and the newly updated Facebook iPhone app with versions for Blackberry and Android phones on the way. Grab the Facebook iPhone app now and you’ll see the new Places icon but pressing it will just get you a message promising that the feature is coming soon.

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If you’ve tried Foursquare, the way Facebook Places works will be pretty familiar. Tap the Check In button and you’ll get a list of places near your current location. If the location you’re looking for isn’t there you can add it or search for it. The big difference is that as well as checking yourself in, you can check friends in too, tagging them in the same way as you would in Facebook Photos.

Facebook Places integration is also coming to other location services. Gowalla and Foursquare will let you check-in to Facebook Places as well as their services, Yelp will integrate with the service and Booyah (creators of MyTown) are building an entirely new iPhone app, InCrowd, to tap into the new service.

Whenever you Check In at a location with Facebook Places you’ll see a People Here Now box showing other Facebook users who are also there. When your Check In or tag friends, it’ll appear in your Facebook News Feed.

Only friends will see when you visit or are tagged at a location in Facebook Places unless you set your privacy level to “Everyone”. When a friend tags you in Facebook Places you’ll also be notified and can remove the tag just as you can with Facebook Photos but it isn’t possible to prevent friends from ever attempting to check you in.

We’ll be investigating Facebook Places further today but in the meantime, let us know what you make of it at first glance. Are you happy to let your Facebook friends know where you are?

Out now (US only) | £free | Facebook

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.dickinson Matthew Dickinson

    If you're in the UK, you can try Facebook Places out on your PC by using a proxy such as Hotspot Shield, using the latest Opera browser, and going to touch.facebook.com

    • bensillis

      Thanks for the tip Matthew, we're going to try it out now!

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