There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
John Lennon and Paul McCartney, "In My Life," The Beatles.
My wife and I recently took a short vacation to visit our daughter in Chicago. While there, I decided to try the new Places feature of Facebook.
The way this feature works is:
- Using your mobile phone, such as an iPhone, you bring up the Facebook app.
- Instead of posting a status update like you might normally do, you click on the Places icon.
- Your mobile phone uses its GPS to locate places near your current location. A list of places pops up.
- You select one of these locations and click on the Check in button.
- Facebook posts a status that you are at this place.
- Facebook shows you a list of other Facebook users who are also at this place.
Facebook also allows you to Check in other Facebook friends who are with you at the same place. This part of the feature won't last long for two reasons.
- The check in others capability is too easy to abuse. People could prank users by checking them into places where they should not be. Facebook provides the ability for users to turn off other's ability to check them in. Soon everyone will have done this.
- If a person wants to be checked into a place, he or she can do it himself/herself. By now most Facebook users have their own mobile devices.
So although this feature allowed my friends to give me real time advice on what to do while I was at a particular place, I doubt I will ever use it again. It was fun to try once for this one trip.
Testing new mobile features is alive in the lab.