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Facebook Launches Location Based Product

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the friends-should-already-know-where-you-are dept.

Social Networks 130

adeelarshad82 writes "Facebook officially launched its 'Places' location-based product, backed by seeming rivals Foursquare and Gowalla. Facebook had been expected to announce a location service ever since it announced the press conference earlier this week. The Places service officially goes live August 19, although an iPhone app will go live on the August 18. According to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Places has been in development for several months. It had three goals, he said: helping share where you are in a nice and social way, to see who's around you, and just discover new and cool places to visit in the future."

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130 comments

And... (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299688)

And so we know exactly where you are all the time and which adverts to serve you.

Re:And... (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299898)

No of course not! Really! This system would never get used for such an intrusive advertising technique! It is just to better connect you and your friends!

18 months later, Facebook announces a new advertising platform...

basement? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33303466)

What products will they advertise for my mom's basement?

Re:And... (4)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300492)

I can understand your concern about the first half, but about the second half....why are so many people always offended by the notion of targeted advertising? People always seem to get mad about the possibility that the ads they see might actually be relevant to them. Why is this so terrible? You'd rather see ads for tampons and the AARP instead of seeing one for a restaurant that is in your area? The only possible reason I can see to be offended is because you have no will power to resist the messages of advertiser, and if they start targeting you with relevant ads then you are going to rush out and buy everything they tell you to. If that's the case, I don't think the biggest concern is targeted advertising.

Re:And... (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300576)

I have no concern about targeted advertising, though I understand why people dislike it when it follows you beyond its original context (You visited the abortion clinic last week, perhaps you'd like some adverts for other abortion clinics splattered all over your Facebook page, for example); it was more a case of the motivations for offering the service (i.e. More money, obviously).

Re:And... (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303252)

Except you would have to specifically check in from the abortion clinic. If you don't check in, then how are they going to know that you were at an abortion clinic?

And if you do check in, maybe you want people to know you're there, and also don't mind getting the occasional advertisement for "abortion clinics near you right now," just in case you ever get the urge to have one on a whim - because we all know that elective abortions are the new trucker hat for the hipster set.

Do you see how STUPID and baseless this concern is yet?

(And as far as targeted advertising... you realize that *other* people wouldn't see abortion clinic ads on YOUR facebook page... right? The point of targeted advertising is not, "Here's a bunch of shit the person you're looking at likes and does!" It's "here's a bunch of shit you might like, while you look at this person's page.")

Re:And... (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300728)

I agree - while targeted ads can be fake and annoying (Are you a 30 year old dad who works in the IT industry and likes classic cars?) Holy crap, that's me! I must click on that ad!
I would be nice to be walking around some place and see an ad for free appetizers and 1/2 price pints at a bar with in a few blocks.

Re:And... (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303190)

I would be nice to be walking around some place and see an ad for free appetizers and 1/2 price pints at a bar with in a few blocks.

A bit later you get ads for a cab service after you stay at the bar too long...
And then an email goes to the DUI Task Force when you don't avail yourself of the proffered taxi ride...

Re:And... (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302746)

The problem isn't the targeted advertising, it's the tracking.

I have absolutely no problem if an advertiser uses my info to display relevant ads.

I do have a problem with how they get that information and what they do with it after they display the ad.

If a targeted ad has a better response rate than a random ad, then the information used to generate that targeted ad has value; my information is valuable. Now, if ad agencies, companies I do business with, and data wholesalers are all making money off of MY information, then I want a cut.

"I'll give you the information you need to provide me a targeted ad, but I want a nickel first."

Otherwise, IMO, it's just a form of identity and privacy theft.

Re:And... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302936)

I can understand your concern about the first half, but about the second half....why are so many people always offended by the notion of targeted advertising? People always seem to get mad about the possibility that the ads they see might actually be relevant to them. Why is this so terrible?

Because, the amount of information a company knows about you in order to do targeted advertising is bordering on the scary.

The way they collect that information continues to be opaque, and likely spread across a large number of sources, and far too much of your personal life can be cross-referenced without people realizing it. The fact that this information gets collected, and the routinely sold means that a lot of your personal/lifestyle/spending information is just out there for people to use, abuse, or just plain exploit.

Voluntarily signing up on Facebook so I can tell everybody where I am, what I'm doing, and the names and addresses of everybody I know is like signing up for Big Brother, only with some stupid game involving farming to placate the masses. Some of this stuff used to be considered confidential, and places like banks would guard it. Now, every schmuck with a customer card willingly hands over boatloads of personal information by associating a customer number with everything they buy.

I mean, seriously, if you go for a prescription to clear up an "infection of a personal nature", do you want to be inundated with ads for anti-itch cream, condoms, yeast infections, incontinence products, free clinics and whatnot? It's like when people say "if you have nothing to hide, why do you have secrets?" -- some information is personal, and isn't really intended to be spread around to everybody.

This really has to be a generational thing -- a lot of geeks used to be rabid privacy nuts. Now everybody is willing to publish all of this stuff onto Facebook like it's normal for the world to know what gotchies you're wearing, when you've got an itch, and the results of your latest medical tests.

Re:And... (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303324)

I mean, seriously, if you go for a prescription to clear up an "infection of a personal nature", do you want to be inundated with ads for anti-itch cream, condoms, yeast infections, incontinence products, free clinics and whatnot? It's like when people say "if you have nothing to hide, why do you have secrets?" -- some information is personal, and isn't really intended to be spread around to everybody.

Good thing this isn't happening, then, right? FUD.

Your scenario has nothing to do with "location awareness," and since the pharmacy isn't selling your PERSONAL MEDICAL RECORDS WHICH ARE PROTECTED BY LAW to Google already, this change to Facebook won't alter the terrain at all in this space. Facebook letting you check in with, "At the pharmacy getting some jock itch cream and antibiotics for a raging case of pecker rot LOL!", is the ONLY way that an advertiser would know about your case of pecker rot, and if *you* disclose this information publicly, it's your own fault.

Re:And... (5, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303326)

People always seem to get mad about the possibility that the ads they see might actually be relevant to them.

It's worth remembering that what the viewer considers relevant and what the advertiser considers targeted are not the same thing. You may be interested in computers and sci-fi, but that doesn't mean they will only show you ads for those products. Advertisers try to hit middle-ground in viewers. It's true that it's a waste of their money to try to advertise a product to you that you will never buy (e.g. baby products to people without kids). But they also don't really want to waste advertising to die-hard fans and aficionados, who will already buy those products (of course they need to keep the fans aware of the products to some extent). Advertising dollars do the most good for the group of fence-sitters: people who might or might not purchase the product. This means that if the advertisers are doing their job right of targeting you on products that you're "on the fence" about, then you'll get a bunch of ads for things you don't quite want. In other words, stuff that is only semi-relevant.

Also worth remember is that quite a bit of advertising has to do with just getting consumers to remember brand names. People always bring up the "I'm a guy--I don't need to see ads for tampons!" but that's actually a case where some advertising to men can make a difference. Guys don't regularly buy tampons, but on the few occasions that they do (girlfriend has just run out and desperately needs more), they want you to walk into the drugstore and, because you're unsure of what to buy, gravitate towards their well-recognized brand ("No boyfriend ever got dumped for buying Tampax")...

Again, it may not be relevant for you to see Tampax ads, but the company certainly wants you to recognize the brand.

The only possible reason I can see to be offended is because you have no will power to resist the messages of advertiser

You're implying that only weak-willed people are affected by ads (implicitly, that you are able to 'resist'). People are more affected by advertising that they realize or would care to admit. If you are among those who are good at spotting crap and not buying it (e.g. making a decision not to buy from companies that make ridiculous claims in their commercials), then properly targeted ads would instead show you the much more subtle kinds of advertising (again, building-up brand recognition and brand image has a large but typically unnoticed effect on your shopping behavior).

I'm not saying that people are slaves to marketing. You can certainly rise above the ads to some extent. But conversely it is effectively impossible not to be somewhat affected by advertising.

This is not to say that I think people should be deathly afraid of targeted ads. But let's at least recognize the dangers (or even just nuisances) they present.

Re:And... (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303126)

Correction: "We know exactly where you are when you check in on your GPS-enabled mobile device which is running our app which you specifically had to load, open, and click "Check In" on, and that is the only time we know where you are."

Unless you're really suggesting that this app is transmitting a constant stream of GPS location data back to Facebook?

As far as what advertisements to serve me, how is that a problem? Seeing information about businesses near your current location is a bad thing, exactly how?

Turn it Off (5, Informative)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299706)

I turned this off as soon as I could.

http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/7046/how-to-prevent-being-checked-into-facebook-places-privacy/ [tech-recipes.com]

I get social media. I really like most of it. However, I enjoy my fancy stereo and big screen TV too much to let people know when I am out of town or out of my house.

"Oh, I know that dude. He just bought a fat entertainment system and now his facebook says he's out of town for a month. Woot!"

No thanks.

Re:Turn it Off (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33299810)

What? It is enabled by default?

Again?

When is Facebook going to learn?

Re:Turn it Off (4, Insightful)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300530)

What? It is enabled by default?

Again?

When is Facebook going to learn?

What?
You actually thought facebook was going to reasonable in their actions regarding privacy?
Again?
When are you going to learn?

Re:Turn it Off (2, Informative)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301424)

It inherits the same sharing permissions as who can see your contact info. I have contact info set to "friends only", and "places I check in" now also shows up as "Friends only".

Of course, you ALSO HAVE TO ACTUALLY CHECK IN on a mobile device for any of this to be relevant, as well.

Unless you make a habit of friending people on Facebook who you expect to rob you, I'm really not certain I see the big issue; If you make a habit of leaving your Facebook info open to the world, then "oh noes dey robbin mah apahtmint" is probably the least of your worries, and you should go check your credit report asap.

If someone is determined enough to rob your sweet Sony Hifi, they're not going to sit there and go, "Gee, now what do I do, I can't see his Facebook to tell when he's out of town." There are plenty of ways to determine this without needing Facebook, and I'd venture a guess that MOST thieves aren't in the habit of trolling facebook for targets, when they have a whole world full of houses and apartments that are empty most of the day out there to pick from.

Re:Turn it Off (2, Funny)

BobZee1 (1065450) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299828)

it seems to me that it is ALWAYS someone you know that decides to "borrow" all of your things while you are away from home. now that i have done what i can to remove all "friends" from my life, my belongings tend to stay where i left them.

Re:Turn it Off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33299886)

it seems to me that it is ALWAYS someone you know that decides to "borrow" all of your things while you are away from home. now that i have done what i can to remove all "friends" from my life, my belongings tend to stay where i left them.

I am not sure whether you are being sarcastic or not. It is generally accepted that most people have a circle of friends comprising about 150 people, yet there are people with hundreds or thousands of Facebook 'friends'. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Re:Turn it Off (3, Informative)

BobZee1 (1065450) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299950)

no, i wasn't being sarcastic. i honestly have 1 friend and probably 2 or 3 acquaintances (co-workers that i will generally converse with about non-work related things). oh yeah, i don't have a facebook account. i should probably be modded troll or off-topic.

Re:Turn it Off (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33300066)

It is generally accepted that most people have a circle of friends comprising about 150 people[...]

Either you are new here on ./, or you are confusing "friends" with "people you know".

Re:Turn it Off (2, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300460)

It is generally accepted that most people have a circle of friends comprising about 150 people[...]

Either you are new here on ./, or you are confusing "friends" with "people you know".

It's a symptom of having a Facebook account; "friend" now means anyone you may have shared oxygen with at some point.

Re:Turn it Off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33300780)

And I think you are confusing "most people" with "patrons of /." :-P

Here is a reference to back up my comment. [guardian.co.uk] The point I was making is that anyone who has more than about a hundred Facebook 'friends' has people on the list who are merely acquaintance or even complete strangers. Not really the sort of people you want to be sharing your day-to-day movements with.

Re:Turn it Off (4, Insightful)

Dominic (3849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299870)

Yeah, because this is exactly what burglars have been waiting for! Except it isn't. Most people with stuff worth stealing have jobs, so burglars just have to go to your house in office hours. They're not going to be looking at Facebook.

Anyway, it's just your friends who can see this. If you are friends with people who will steal with you then you have other problems.

Re:Turn it Off (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299998)

Anyway, it's just your friends who can see this.

Indeed, and it's just impossible that anyone could ever get friend access to your facebook account. It would take people in some random site like, totally from the top of my head, 4chan, many, many long minutes.

Re:Turn it Off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33300090)

Except many people with jobs and things worth stealing also have wives and children, who may be home when they're at work. It's also preferable to rob someone at night, so that neighbors don't call the cops when they see a stranger wandering around the yard. Knowing when someone is on vacation is invaluable to a burglar.

Re:Turn it Off (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300960)

burglars also want to rob you while you are on vacation because it is easier to sell your stuff before it is reported stolen, and because it gives any potential witnesses time to forget the details of potentially suspicious activity.

Re:Turn it Off (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301578)

Except most neighbors will never even think to question someone who is reasonably clean-cut looking wearing khakis, a blue or black polo shirt, and carrying a clipboard. And if they do question you, you have a reasonable cover story ready to explain why you're there, and when the neighbor says, "I think they're out of town," you say "Hmm, okay, I guess I'll try back in a week or so," and leave. Maybe you carry a few brochures from a painting company or something with you, and hand one to the neighbor, and say "If you're interested, give us a call!"

Honestly, do you think thieves show up wearing ski masks and carrying burlap sacks over their shoulder to cart away all your stuff?

The random crackhead who shows up looking to steal your stereo probably isn't using Facebook to find you. The "professional" who might use Facebook to select you doesn't need it.

Re:Turn it Off (1)

Monoman (8745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300298)

First: Burglers can assume you aren't home during office hours but they may be wrong. Some folks work nights so smart ones would do some reconn work.
Second: There is an option to share your location with Everyone.
Third: There is an option that lets your friends tell others your location.

Re:Turn it Off (0)

Magorak (85788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299876)

I really shrug my shoulders and shake my head when I see comments like this

I mean, really? Is that really what people are so paranoid about? Are you so scared that by telling your friends you are at Starbucks for coffee that others are going to break into your house and steal everything you own? Are you really that worried that there's SO many people out there that want to steal YOUR stuff that they are watching everything YOU do and just waiting for you to leave the house to take your stuff?

I get wanting to take precautions and I get wanting to be safe, but just because the service is there doesn't mean you have to use it. Hell, a simple tweet or FB status update can tell the world that you're at work. How is that any different? Do you ever do an update that says where you are? Probably at least once you have.

Yes, it has happened where people's homes have been broken into because other folks knew they weren't home. It's also happened when people drive by your house, see no one home, and break in. I would bet the odds are higher that the latter would happen versus theft via FB update.

To assume that the usage of location based services like this or FourSqaure immediately means people are going to use it to commit a crime against you comes across as being a bit paranoid. Relax. Not everyone is out there to steal your stuff.

Re:Turn it Off (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300228)

Yeah really... and besides, apprehending the perpetrator will be a simple matter of searching FB Places for who was near your home, hell, they'd probably even set their status to: "Im in ur base, steelin ur stuff, wifin ur daughterz"

Really! I'm only being a maybe a little sarcastic ^_^

Re:Turn it Off (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301628)

But, but... stupid FUD is only bad when Microsoft does it. When it's being used against Facebook, it's okay!

Re:Turn it Off (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302784)

Are you so scared that by telling your friends you are at Starbucks for coffee that others are going to break into your house and steal everything you own? /blockquote. It's not your friends you're worried about though. You might think it is paranoid to believe that anyone else could get hold of your data, but I would say that there is more than justifiable concern about the security of Facebook (and other social media).

Re:Turn it Off (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303386)

So somebody is going to:

1) Target you specifically;
2) Hack into Facebook's servers to steal your data;
3) Repeat #2 until they find out you've posted an "on vacation!" status;
4) Break into your house to steal your shitty $50 clock radio;

Is this reasonable? Geeks here are so fond of reminding people "security through obscurity isn't secure." If the only thing preventing people from stealing all your stuff is that they can't see your Facebook status updates, you might want to invest in some basic locks & deadbolts, and maybe a cheap security system if you have enough "expensive stuff" to warrant it.

Re:Turn it Off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33301228)

Where'd you find a fat entertainment system? I can only find ntfs

Re:Turn it Off (1)

psoriac (81188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301462)

On a slightly surprising note, I found that the 'Include me in "People Here Now" after I check in' option defaulted to disabled. At least they got 1/2 right, and to be honest, if you only friended people who were really your friends, letting them check you into places isn't such a horrible thing.

Re:Turn it Off (1)

js_sebastian (946118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302286)

wtf... having a facebook account means having to check the privacy settings every other day to disable whatever new feature (or re-labeled old feature) is open-by-default this week...

this is how... (5, Informative)

polle404 (727386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299726)

account -> privacy -> Customize settings

change "Places I check in" to "only me"
and uncheck "enable" in "Include me in "People Here Now" after I check in"
and set "Friends can check me in to Places" to "disabled"


and you're back to good ol' privacy-invading facebook as you know it.

Alternative (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33300038)

Login to facebook
http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account
Complete CAPTCHA
Do not login or connect with your Facebook account for 14 days.

You'll wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe

Re:this is how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33301748)

account -> privacy -> Customize settings

change "Places I check in" to "only me"

and uncheck "enable" in "Include me in "People Here Now" after I check in"

and set "Friends can check me in to Places" to "disabled"

and you're back to good ol' privacy-invading facebook as you know it.

account -> privacy -> Customize settings

change "Places I check in" to "only me"

and uncheck "enable" in "Include me in "People Here Now" after I check in"

and set "Friends can check me in to Places" to "disabled"

and you're back to good ol' privacy-invading facebook as you know it.

can you

Not quite launched in the USA (1)

flipper9 (109877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299730)

I spend my time updating the iPhone app, and then the facebook program isn't available yet if Florida. Not quite ready for primetime.

Uses (4, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299760)

...And to target the space laser, of course. We would hate to vaporize the wrong person."

Re:Uses (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299958)

Let's see. The post was modded insightful because:

1 - Funny doesn't give karma.
2 - Modders actually believe a space laser can target someone just because he connected his GPS phone.
3 - Modders know a space laser can target someone just because he connected his GPS phone.
4 - Modders are the ones who use the space laser and want the snitch to repost so they can target hi #%!@#70824645[CARRIER LOST] ...

Re:Uses (2, Funny)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300032)

You know too much...

Can I suggest you a nice locationbased facebook game? You can share your score with your friends and grandmother!! FOR FREE!

Re:Uses (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300596)

5 - Thanshin (1188877)* has a few alternate SlashDot accounts which currently have mod points, and decided to reward him/herself with a little karma.

*don't get mad, I'm just busting your chops.

;-)

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33301540)

...And to target the space laser, of course. We would hate to vaporize the wrong person."

"It's just a cake, you assholes!"
- Bob the Angry Flower, The Flower Who Cried Wolf [angryflower.com]

Once again, life imitates BtaF

Unless... (1)

veeoh (444683) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299782)

...you are anywhere else but the US it seems. I hate that.

arse biscuits.

Re:Unless... (1)

Magorak (85788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299808)

Ya it blows. Love how they launch a service for a site that has 500 million people on it but then only make this "feature" available to a small subset.

Re:Unless... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299996)

I'm in the UK and I just checked my privacy settings and the settings relating to this are present. I don't know if the service itself is enabled yet though.

Re:Unless... (1)

veeoh (444683) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300274)

Nah, if you tap the icon on my iPhone it just says not available in your region yet.

Hmmmm... (3, Insightful)

shabble (90296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299790)

So then, does this mean your stalkers will know where you are, and your local burglar will know where you aren't?

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33300118)

...and your spouse will know which ex's house you're at.

Don't input any real data (4, Insightful)

hessian (467078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299800)

Apropos of this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/7951269/Young-will-have-to-change-names-to-escape-cyber-past-warns-Googles-Eric-Schmidt.html [telegraph.co.uk]

I don't know why anyone would put any real data into a service like Facebook.

It's a large, profit-driven, high-margin corporation. You wouldn't tell McDonald's or Coca-Cola what your interests are, where you live, YOUR POLITICAL OPINIONS, who your parents are and who you want to date, would you?

Stay anonymous. Fill in entertaining bullshit when they ask you personal questions. They think I'm a gay Black Christian Libertarian who wants legal pot and likes chinchillas.

Re:Don't input any real data (4, Interesting)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299968)

I don't know why anyone would put any real data into a service like Facebook.

Because I have actual real-life friends on Facebook, and as I am interested in seeing what they're up to from time to time, I assume that that interest is reciprocated. I have also made new friends on Facebook and similar sites, some of which have become genuine, real life friends.

Facebook gets useful demographic data about me that they use to target adverts at me (that I block and/or ignore), I get to keep in touch with friends more easily (especially ones that are geographically distant) and sometimes make new ones. To me, I come off best in that trade. Your mileage may (and clearly does) vary.

Re:Don't input any real data (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300052)

Stay anonymous. Fill in entertaining bullshit when they ask you personal questions. They think I'm a gay Black Christian Libertarian who wants legal pot and likes chinchillas.

Ok, ok, I get it. No need to be rude.

I'll sell my pot and chinchillas to someone who actually wants them.

Re:Don't input any real data (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300162)

I don't know why anyone would put any real data into a service like Facebook.

Because most people have no understanding about what the consequences might be. Apart from the first year or so online, I have used an alias especially to separate real life and online things. Basically because I know people will drag stuff out of context.

I had an facebook account just to see what it was and got even to the point of having 100 people as 'friends'. Basically people I have no idea of what to say to in real life. So I had no idea why I had them as 'friends'. I guess the number of people on your list is like a pissing contest.

Anyway: there was only one other person who did not use her own name and that was because she was stalked by her ex and she would want to use her own name. And yes a real name IS real data. And all the other information that people put out there is amazing.

Just ask one of these people to go to a complete stranger in a pub or on the street and tell them the information they just hared with the world and they will think you are crazy or they are natural attention whores.

Re:Don't input any real data (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33300414)

What? Slashdot users who aren't great a social interaction have a hard time understanding a site that is big on social interaction? This rates high on the unintentional comedy scale.

Re:Don't input any real data (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301078)

I had an facebook account just to see what it was and got even to the point of having 100 people as 'friends'. Basically people I have no idea of what to say to in real life. So I had no idea why I had them as 'friends'. I guess the number of people on your list is like a pissing contest.

That's really kind of sad. According to your ID number, you're probably my age or just a little younger, but I have a couple hundred friends on FB, and they've been judiciously chosen as _real_ friends (and family) that I want to stay in contact with. And I would consider myself to be closer to the hermit side of the social-scale. Get out of the house, have a beer with your kids' friends' parents, join a local organization of some sort.

That said, the number of friends is a pissing contest for youngsters, and they need to learn that it's not a good idea to add random friends just to score "points".

Re:Don't input any real data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33301842)

For youngsters? You just made it a pissing contest yourself.

Re:Don't input any real data (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301914)

I don't know why anyone would put any real data into a service like Facebook.

Because most people have no understanding about what the consequences might be. Apart from the first year or so online, I have used an alias especially to separate real life and online things. Basically because I know people will drag stuff out of context.

And most Slashdotters keep vaguely handwaving about 'consequences' without ever really actually enumerating any. It's become a fear word like 'terrorism' or 'think of the children'. If you need an alias to separate your words from yourself, I suspect the problem is you can your communications skills - not 'people'.[1]
 

I had an facebook account just to see what it was and got even to the point of having 100 people as 'friends'. Basically people I have no idea of what to say to in real life. So I had no idea why I had them as 'friends'. I guess the number of people on your list is like a pissing contest.

In other words, you added people you don't really know as friends - and this it's somehow Facebook's fault that you don't have any actual people you'd want to talk to.
 

Anyway: there was only one other person who did not use her own name and that was because she was stalked by her ex and she would want to use her own name. And yes a real name IS real data. And all the other information that people put out there is amazing.

And here you invoke the equivalent of 'think of the children' again.
 

Just ask one of these people to go to a complete stranger in a pub or on the street and tell them the information they just hared with the world and they will think you are crazy or they are natural attention whores.

Which is utterly irrelevant to Facebook, as unless you are crazy or a natural attention whore, the people in your friends list aren't complete strangers.

[1]What I've posted to my facebook in the last 24 hours:

- A link to a story about an amazing rescue performed the USN [kitsapsun.com] (they flew a helicopter under a bridge and into a narrow canyon to medivac an injured hiker).
- A wry comment on looking through the house for something only to find it right where it should have been in the first place. ("Don't you have when you're looking for something, and when you find it: a) it was right where it should have been and you swore it wasn't..., and b) you've walked past/looked right at it half a dozen times?")
- A link to a picture [flickr.com] I took back in March, but just now got around to processing and putting up on Flickr. (And a pretty good picture if I do say so myself.)

I can see how there's going to be serious consequences for sharing that, and how people can take it out of context, etc... etc...

Or not.

Re:Don't input any real data (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300496)

It's a large, profit-driven, high-margin corporation. You wouldn't tell McDonald's or Coca-Cola what your interests are, where you live, YOUR POLITICAL OPINIONS, who your parents are and who you want to date, would you?

Actually I tell everybody in the world that sort of information. Especially my POLITICAL OPINIONS. I even have a website where the domain includes my actual name. In this website I establish my beliefs, my goals and aspirations, as well as my past activities with respect to different projects.

It's called being a politician.

Now, I am a very vocal advocate of privacy rights, but what you stated isn't so much privacy but bordering on paranoia. And you know what? Good. A little healthy scepticism would do well for this country. But for a good majority of us, our political leanings, opinions, and activities are fairly public to begin with, we just never thought of them as being so.

My main complaint about these services is not that they exist, but that their information collection tends to be opt-out instead of opt-in. That's it.

Re:Don't input any real data (1)

ComputerGeek01 (1182793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303346)

Fill in entertaining bullshit when they ask you personal questions. They think I'm a gay Black Christian Libertarian who wants legal pot and likes chinchillas.

Yeah but we all think this about you

hookup central (4, Insightful)

eagl (86459) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299812)

It's gonna turn into a hookup tool. Like craigslist adult forums, but very very immediate.

Re:hookup central (2, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299896)

Like craigslist adult forums, but very very immediate.

Which is pretty much the way they did it 30 years ago...

Re:hookup central (1)

Xarius (691264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300054)

GPS-Based hook-up mobile apps already exist for this purpose! Google for Grindr if you're into a little random man-on-man action.

Re:hookup central (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33300064)

Good thing we can all ignore it then.
OKCupid handles that for us.

No, seriously, I'm really impressed with the work they're doing over there.
I figured internet dating was a total sham, IMHO those guys are above-board.
And the results aren't bad either ;)

Re:hookup central (1)

goontz (1441623) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300184)

It's gonna turn into a hookup tool. Like craigslist adult forums, but very very immediate.

There was an episode of Law and Order: SVU in which the rape/murder victim was on a site exactly like that.

Re:hookup central (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302154)

That's what it USED to be. Back when it was restricted to university students, I could just browse people that went to my school and randomly friend/message them. Worked fairly well... now pokes have fallen out of favor and are considered "creepy." Sigh... I miss the good ol' days. ;)

Facebook had been expected to announce a location (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299882)

What's this sentence doing in the write up? As long ago as monday, eh?

Facebook, the swiss army knife for the stalker (2, Interesting)

joshier (957448) | more than 3 years ago | (#33299974)

This really is turning into a great tool for obsessive people. Here's an example; I'm on facebook and I am updated about what new friends my friends have. Why on earth should I know this? It is utterly pointless and makes you feel like a stalker. As for the location business, it's like a ticking time bomb to me until the media focus on a particular crime where the attacker used facebook as a means to gather private information about whereabouts. Facebook is either really stupid, or they think they are invincible.

Re:Facebook, the swiss army knife for the stalker (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300478)

and I am updated about what new friends my friends have. Why on earth should I know this? It is utterly pointless

No it isn't. Many of my FB friends were added by noticing a common friend via one of my existing ones. Apart from an original handful, that's actually how almost all of mine got added.

The Places functionality seems like a non-issue. Looks like you'll only check in at a location if you click the "Check In" button within a separate area of the application. In other words, you have _so_ opted in. There is an option for others to check-in on your behalf, and it has an ambiguous default setting (not enabled or disabled, but select one). But apart from that the default settings seem fine to me.

Re:Facebook, the swiss army knife for the stalker (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302026)

This really is turning into a great tool for obsessive people. Here's an example; I'm on facebook and I am updated about what new friends my friends have. Why on earth should I know this? It is utterly pointless and makes you feel like a stalker.

When one of my high school friends has a new friend, it just might be someone I knew/know as well, who just got on Facebook. When one of my SCA friends has a new friend - it just might be someone I knew/know as well, who just got on Facebook. When one of my geocaching friends has a new friend... well, you get the picture.
 

As for the location business, it's like a ticking time bomb to me until the media focus on a particular crime where the attacker used facebook as a means to gather private information about whereabouts.

And then what? Oh, you don't actually have a 'then what' - you're just invoking vague handwaving like "terrorism" and "think of the children".

Soylent green is people (2, Insightful)

ndg123 (801212) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300086)

The product isn't the social networking service offered to the mostly unwitting registrants. The product is the data harvested from them and sold to advertisers and other human detritus for their nefarious purposes. The announcement is really "we're going to pump this GPS data out of the data cows and you'll be able to buy it from us". see also: a number of pronouncements from Zuckerberg indicating how much he respects the users.

Big brother anybody? (1, Redundant)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300104)

It just amazes me how much we are willing to give away everything that is related to our privacy.

Advertisement is one of the least things I am worried about. What I am worried about is that nobody really cares about privacy. Not really. Many people think that if you are in public, you do not have a right on privacy. Many people think that if you give it away, it is your right and not a big issue.

However I try to do my best to not only think about my privacy, but about others as well, just as I would think about other peoples freedom and not just my own.

Re:Big brother anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33300272)

The other side of the coin is that someone needs to test the borders of acceptability so we collectively find them -- it's not easy to tell beforehand what new technology is considered acceptable now, let alone in ten years. Companies like Facebook have intruded and will keep intruding on user privacy but they are also producing new services that just haven't existed before. Some of those intrusions happened because no-one knows what people want yet. You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

The above doesn't make it ok to knowingly cross the line, but I'm ready to give these guys some room to experiment while they develop things.

Re:Big brother anybody? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300704)

Many people think that if you are in public, you do not have a right on privacy

What do you mean?

Re:Big brother anybody? (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301278)

It just amazes me how much we are willing to give away everything that is related to our privacy.

I bet you were just fishing for karma -- "zOMG big brother!!1!" always works here. But really, it's not a big deal. Being in a public place isn't really private. Private stuff I consider things like the small love note I write for my wife, the advice on relationships I ask my dad, the girl I talked to when my wife was away with friends, etc. Not the small stuff, like the bar I hang out.

Re:Big brother anybody? (1)

MozzleyOne (1431919) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303368)

The trouble is, we've never really had any privacy - it's just been harder to find stuff out. Whereas you used to need a private investigator, you now just use the internet. Nothing really changed, just finding stuff out has (and will continue to get) easier to discover about people.

I don't really care about this too much - if the only obstacle to Bad Things happening is this some flimsy old-school notion of "privacy", we need to do some thinking.

Iphone and Windows? (0, Troll)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300320)

Iphone first, followed by Android and then Windows. Yet Another Company writing catering first only for 3% of the mobile phone owning population, followed up with two of the other smaller platforms, whilst ignoring the market leaders of Symbian (worldwide) and RIM (in the US).

Android is certainly a platform that should be written for, as it's the fastest growing right now, and second most popular in the US. But I fail to understanding putting the Iphone first, or supporting Iphone and Windows, whilst forgetting the two major platforms. All I can think of is that the Iphone and Windows have problem using the touch.facebook.com site with a web browser, so need to have a special "app" written for them.

(Not to mention that a J2ME application would be an obvious thing to do too, since this is really the biggest platform overall, catering for the vast majority of phones.)

Oh, and if you're going to reply telling me that the Iphone is more popular, have the decency to look up actual market data, rather than redefining market sales to mean something completely different, like "mindshare" or "what me and my mates brag about owning".

Then again, since this seems such a bad privacy feature, I guess I shouldn't worry. Iphone users already have to have their posts tagged with an Apple advert "I'm posting with an iPhone!", so why not give away more info too?

Re:Iphone and Windows? (2, Insightful)

wannabgeek (323414) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300714)

I don't know if I'm feeding a troll but let me attempt an answer anyway - it's about the market share of people that actually use the app. My wife has a symbian non-touch phone but it's such a pain to use any of the apps including the browser. The screen size and the keypad for input make it really unusable. Lest you call me fanboy, I own an Android phone and the only Apple device I have is the very first gen iPod.

Re:Iphone and Windows? (3, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301850)

Oh, and if you're going to reply telling me that the Iphone is more popular, have the decency to look up actual market data

Step away from the keyboard and calm down a little. You're way too invested in hating on the iphone.

Those other platforms may have more market share - but do they have a bigger market share of FACEBOOK users in the US, which is where this service is rolling out first? Most "mobile" updates I see from people come from Android or Iphone devices, so I'd say that it would certainly fit with my experiences that iPhone & Android constitute a majority devices where the facebook app is installed.

RIM has a huge market share... and a lot of that market share is business phones, which are locked down. My company wouldn't appreciate me installing Facebook and a bunch of other random apps on my business phone. Looking down my Facebook newsfeed right now, I see 0 people using a Blackberry to post updates, 5 individuals using an iphone, 2 using Android, and 2 using Palm WebOS. Despite that, I know at least 22 of my Facebook "friends" have blackberries - but they're corporate devices.

Re:Iphone and Windows? (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302882)

First, RIM is irrelevant. Having a large chunk of the market share is irrelevant when it is all business related. RIM is dead in the consumer market. The same goes for Windows. It is all business with just a smattering of quickly dying consumer phones. Symbian is a waste to develop for. It is in the process of being rapidly murdered and it has no real history of heavy app usage. I actually agree that it was silly not to release both the iPhone app and Android app at the same time. I really can't think of any good reason why you wouldn't do both at the same time. If anything, it steals some of your thunder for the Android users who go to look for the feature when it is announced and can't find it.

Re:Iphone and Windows? (1)

roju (193642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303274)

For some reason, RIM develops all their social networking apps in house. So they'll probably add it themselves to their (buggy) Facebook app.

They should have called it Placebook (1)

RabbitWho (1805112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300636)

Obviously.

Re:They should have called it Placebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33302168)

Sorry, it already exists. They'll have to call it something else ... such as "Facebook Places" for example.
https://www.placebook.com/

iPhone app will go live on the Aug 18 (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33300876)

What year? 2011? The summary was posted Aug 19, 2010, at ~1PM GMT... There's no place on Earth that's -13 or -14 GMT, so it had to be the 19th when it was posted to the front page.

Re:iPhone app will go live on the Aug 18 (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301886)

It's slashdot. There's a delay. You know this.

The product was announced yesterday afternoon (Aug 18), at about 7:30 EST. "The iPhone app will go live on Aug 18" means "it's live today, the date of the announcement, Aug. 18, 2010, but the Places service won't be turned on until August 19th, 2010, so you won't be able to use the iPhone app to check in to that service until tomorrow, Aug. 19th."

Quid pro quo, Facebook (1)

Bertie (87778) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303210)

I have to say I just don't get services like this.

Facebook, like many other websites, tries to strike a balance with its users. In exchange for offering me a range of services, I provide them with data of various kinds which they then use in an attempt to make money from me. I've found it a useful means of keeping in touch with people, sharing photos, and so on, and I've been happy enough to give them what they've asked for thus far as payment for it. It's generally nothing secret - I don't care who knows my age or what town I live in, and if I write a status update, I do it voluntarily because I want people to read it. They can do what they like with it.

But now they want me to get into the habit of telling them where I am. In return for... What, exactly? Geographically targeted ads I don't want? The occasional discount, if I'm lucky? Sorry, this deal's biased too far in their favour. I'm not playing.

I'm increasingly getting the feeling that Facebook's over the hill. Empires rise and fall very quickly on the Internet, because it's so easy to desert something and move on. Facebook, in their arrogance, think they've built a site so sticky that their users won't be able to bring themselves to desert it, no matter how hostile they become towards them. I think they're going to start to find out that, like everybody else before them, they're wrong.

A present for the cat (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303352)

This stuff reminds me of that cartoon where the mice decide to give the cat a present: a pretty, shiny bell to put around the cat's neck. For me? the cat exclaims. Now the mice know when the cat is coming.

No thanks.

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