How To Use Facebook Places Location Tagging Safely [Weekly Facebook Tips]

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use facebook places featureIf you’re on Facebook a bit, you’ve probably noticed people adding a location to their posts and photos, tagging their friends in locations and generally making it clear that they’re out and about having a great time. Maybe you have had a go at this yourself or perhaps you’ve never managed to get around to it.

What is clear about Facebook location tagging though, is that it’s easy and it’s good fun. Here’s how you can get started with Facebook Places, a few cool tips and tricks and a final word of caution.

Add A Location To Updates

To add your location to a Facebook update, either start by clicking “Places” just above your update box or click on the location marker below the text when you’ve written your update. You’ll see a drop-down list of suggested nearby places, containing towns and popular venues. If none of these apply, just start typing the name of the place you want to add.

If you type in a business name, it will usually find the Facebook page associated with the location, or if you type in a geographical location you might find a community page.

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Here’s a Facebook video of how to add a location to a post.

Add A Location To Photos

Manually adding a location to photos and albums is easy and very similar to regular updates. Simply go to the photo or album you want to tag and click on the location icon. Then type in the location name until the right one shows up.

how to use facebook places

Photo location can be automatically tagged if you choose to upload geotagged photos taken with your smartphone or other GPS-enabled camera. You can usually set your phone’s Facebook application settings to stop your photos being uploaded with location automatically.

Tagging A Location With Your Friends

When tagging updates and photos with location, you can also tag your friends as being with you. In updates, just start typing their name using a capital letter to begin. In photos, you can either tag their picture or say that you were “with” certain people in the individual photo. Or you can tag them in the album description if they were with you for the whole event. Not only will this make the post show up in the person’s timeline, but it will show their location for that update or photo in their Places map.

Think before you tag your friends, though. Just because they didn’t lock down their privacy settings doesn’t mean they want to be tagged at a gay bar. If you’re worried about your own privacy, head to Privacy Settings > Timeline And Tagging and make sure you set all posts you’ve been tagged in to need your review before they are added to your timeline.

View Your Facebook Places Map

To see your Places map, head to your profile timeline and click on “Map“. You can do the same thing on any of your friends’ timelines or you can use the URL format that follows:

https://www.facebook.com/USERNAME/map

Using this map, you can easily browse the towns and exact locations of photos and updates you’ve been tagged in. If you have lots of location tags, you can narrow it down by year using the timeline on the right, just as you can do for the timeline as a whole. It’s a great way to revisit your travels and re-live a bit of the excitement.

how to use facebook places

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Privacy Note

Think a little about the safety of yourself and your home before you broadcast your location to everyone on Facebook. If you make it clear you’re on holiday, thieves may well consider breaking into your house. If everyone knows you’re out at a concert, then that lurking stalker might decide to conveniently be where you are later that night.

use facebook places feature

With this in mind, be careful about location posts. Perhaps limit photos, posts you are tagged in and location posts you make to your very good friends only by using your “Close Friends” list or a hand-picked friends list. The next day you can always open the post up to the rest of your friends to let them know you were out having a great time – at least then your safety isn’t compromised while you are out. Also, be careful with tagging yourself in your favourite places regularly as you don’t want your lurking stalker to know how often you’re there.

I also like to ensure my phone doesn’t know my exact location whenever I’m near my home or any of my friends’ houses, so I use Tasker to turn off GPS whenever I’m near those places. That way, if I take photos while I’m there the location will be tagged as the nearest big town, which I hope is adequately obscure.

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