I’ve been reading about Facebook Places today. Maybe I’m just a bit of a cynic when it comes to new social media initiatives, but I’m not convinced of its value to me, or a large percentage of the people on Facebook.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m not familiar with location-based services. I’ve been using Foursquare for a while, but the most I’ve got out of it is eleven mayor-ships (hardly something to write home about.)
You see, Foursquare hasn’t changed my behaviour, social life or led me to connect with new people. In fact, I find myself only really using it when I’m either trying to knock Danny Whatmough off the mayor status at Wildfire HQ, or when I’m on the train and so bored that I check myself into every station on the Waterloo to Guildford line just to give me something to do.
Now I know Facebook starts from a different premise to Foursquare, as users will already have an established network of friends they are actively connecting with and I can see why some people are going to find Places appealing.
But it just doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve got about a hundred or so ‘friends’, however most of them don’t live anywhere near me at all and I don’t see them regularly. Instead, I use Facebook to keep up to date on their news, share the odd story or look through their latest photos to see how they’re getting on.
So do I really need to know if my cousin has checked into a bar in Northampton? Or if half the people I went to school with are out on the lash in a new bar in Portsmouth’s Gun Wharf? Or whether an old university friend is taking the kids to Bournemouth? The chances of that prompting me to jump in the car and drive two hours to join them are as slim as a slim thing.
So when Facebook Places comes to the UK, it could be something that I just leave well alone.