BuzzRocket's Blog

I’m a creep.

Facebook Places. How do I put this delicately? You’re kind of creepy, and what’s worse: You make me kind of creepy. And after attending a Social Media Club of Los Angeles meeting where four times the amount of attendees had checked in on Foursquare than Places, I think I’m not alone.

I took Facebook Places and Foursqure for a test drive over the past couple weeks. And while I get all the positive aspects Facebook touted in their press conference/Facebook Places launch, I have to say, so far, I’ve only been mildly impressed. Frankly, I find the application to be somewhat invasive.

I first used Places to check-in to a bustling Starbucks on Melrose. I saw that one other person had checked in, as well. He appeared to be attractive in his picture, which piqued my interest, so I clicked on his profile. I learned a lot about “Mike:” he’s a photographer, likes dogs, Mad Men. Then I looked around the room and actually saw him, became completely embarrassed, left feeling like an inadvertent stalker – dirty. I don’t use Facebook as a way to meet new people. On a purely personal level, I use Facebook to stay in touch with my friends and family, to look at people’s pictures when I’m bored or procrastinating, and to get a more intimate look into the lives of people I’ve just met – NEVER the other way around.

Later that week, I got together with a couple fellow bloggers, Kelly Ryan O’Brien and Champagne and Heels. Since I was in the midst of my Foursquare/Facebook Places “Pepsi Challenge,” I pulled out my phone to check into the café. I checked in to Foursquare, earning myself 7 points (one for a first time check in, the second for this being my second stop of the day). Then I went to check in on Facebook. Since I was meeting with two of my Facebook friends, I asked if I could tag them on my check in. Both declined, saying that they didn’t want people knowing where they were but for separate reasons. “What if I canceled a meeting with someone on I’m friend on Facebook with to be here? Now they know.” Good point. We’re in L.A.; that happens all the time. My other friend said she was just extremely private, but interestingly does have a Foursquare account. However, she is only friends with three people – old friends from NYC – on Foursquare and, as a recent transplant, uses it as a fun way to keep up with her gal pals back east.

There is an anonymity that goes along with Foursquare. My Foursquare friends know nothing about me beyond where I am, or have been, and the city in which I reside. I can choose which check-ins I want to share on Facebook and Twitter. Plus, it’s somewhat of a game. There are incentives, which make me want to come back for more.

I don’t see too many people checking into places on Facebook thus far, via Places, or Foursquare for that matter. I’m interested to see how this all pans out. On the business side of things, I favor Foursquare. When people check-in, they check into locations I manage, where I can give users deals, tips, etc. Places does not allow people to check into our fan pages, which is irritating, but that is another blog for another time. Stay tuned.


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