Facebook’s Foursquare killer went live in the UK this morning.
The check-in based system is much like the popular geo-social app, but oddly doesn’t have some of the key features Foursquare employs to make it so appealing to its users.
The actual user experience of Places is much the same as Foursquare — if not quite as polished. You check-in to where ever you happen to be, your location is then posted on your wall which is in turn linked to a Places page showing a profile for that location. But unlike FourSquare you can’t leave tips or gain badges, basically none of the hooks used to compel people to actually use the service are actually there.
The whole experience is, well, a little flat. Especially if there are only a handful of your friends using Places.
Facebook is clearly, and justifiably, nervous about launching Places — with allegations flying around about Facebook’s stance on privacy. This might go some way to explaining why Facebook hasn’t launched a tips style feature, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see these features being rolled out once the service has bedded-in.
There is also no option to see who else is checked-in at the place you’re currently at — also a good idea for now.
It is undeniably a good way to share you whereabouts with your chums, but equally, its a great way for people to spy on you. If you’re worried about that sort of thing — which you probably shouldn’t be, it’s not like you’re the pope or anything.