Blog Post

In Location Sharing, Facebook Trips Up, Metro Seeks Audience

So Facebook launched its Places location sharing in the UK Friday morning. My first experience proved disconcerting enough to perhaps be my last…

While Facebook has implemented several features for controlling who you share your location with, it is lacking controls for editing and removing the places you post in the first place…

Like many first-time users, I logged in from home. Before you “check in” to a location, that location must first exist in Facebook’s database, which is underpinned by an existing index of local businesses. Problem is, when you add your “Home” to the Places database, it is there for all to see. I saw a dozen other new users’ homes nearby, too – all before I’d even agreed to the terms of service, let alone checked in…

While none of this allows for spying on people’s movements and, certainly, there is nothing to link my identity with the Home I created, it’s nonetheless disconcerting to know it’s there in perpetuity. Facebook PR confirmed there is not yet any way to delete my Home, advising instead that I flag the place as incorrect, abusive, closed and a duplicate via the “Report” feature (known in the trade as a workaround).

If there’s one big reason why location sharing may not take off, it’s that human beings — and, in particular, the non-geeks amongst them — are happier expressing their current position in words than in metadata…

But the Metro free newspaper is nevertheless joining in with a Foursquare tie-up.

“Users will be able to view location-relevant restaurant and film reviews from the Associated Newspapers title from within Foursquare when they use the service to ‘check-in’ to places,” Journalism.co.uk reports.