Have you heard of Facebook Places yet? (Facebook’s announcement) Places is basically the new ability to use Facebook to share with your friends where you are. It’s kind of like FourSquare but it’s integrated into Facebook.
It’s cool because you can tell your friends where you happen to be in case they want to join you. You can also see where your friends are. It’s Facebook’s way of integrating your online life with your “real” life.
It’s true that a lot of the real fun comes with using it on a mobile device, but you can also get some use from it on your PC.
There have been some rumors going around about it though. People saw it appear and began to think that their locations were automatically being broadcasted to the whole world. Think about the security implications a move like that would have made! Let me be the one to tell you that it is certainly not the case.
Another problem I have begun to see several users run into is not understanding the privacy features of Places. We’ve been trying to figure those things out for a long time and it seems every time we finally do work it out, they change everything again. Go figure. Check out some MakeUseOf articles that will help – links are at the end of this article.
Facebook did however, come out and share with us the ins and outs of Places’ privacy settings. Let me quickly share some tips and links that should put you on the right road.
Decide What You Want To Share & How It Is Shared
There are various aspects of Places you have privacy control over.
A check-in is when you tell friends in a post where you are. For instance, if you’re hanging at a coffee shop, you can check in there to tell friends you’re there. You can control who sees your checkins in the privacy settings area.
You’ll see the check-in setting on the overview.
Notice that you can also customize the setting by clicking on Customize settings. Scroll down until you see Places I check into. Realize that you can go beyond limiting your privacy to just sharing your location to friends and limit it to either a contact group or even just an individual.
We should be familiar with tagging by now. We know we can tag people in photos and even tag people via the @ symbol within updates. You may have also experienced being tagged in a note where someone either mentioned you or wants you to read it.
With Places, people can tag you if they know you are in the same location as they are. This can be cool. People can use it to get together and connect with friends and colleagues. Some people may be a bit squeamish about it though. If I wanted to check in this place, I would have myself!
OK, so you don’t want to be tagged in a place. There are several things you can do. You can remove the tag just the same way you would any other tag, or you can disable the ability for your friends to tag you altogether (a bit draconian, don’t you think?). Just hit up the same Customize settings and go to the Things others share section.
When and if you do decide to check in some place, you’ll notice an area showing who else of your friends are there.
You actually have control over whether or not you show up in this section when someone checks in. Go to things I share –> Include me in “People Here Now” after I check in and you can chose to enable or disable the option.
There are even more options when it comes to your Places privacy settings. Check out this video Facebook put together to learn more:
Get More Help & Give Feedback/Suggestions
Since there has been some confusion about Places, what it is, what it does, and the privacy settings, Facebook went ahead and put together a whole help section that should help some. Go to Help Center –> Places and you’ll find all kinds of helpful information, Facebook style.
If you want to give some constructive suggestions, Facebook has posted a form just for you.
Here’s some MakeUseOf articles that will help out with your Facebook security settings :
10 Solid Tips To Safeguard Your Facebook Privacy
6 Simple Tips To Protect Your Privacy On Facebook – Brett
8 Steps To Regain Control Of Your Facebook Privacy – Mahendra
8 MORE Steps To Regain Control Of Your Facebook Privacy – Mahendra
I hope some of these tips will aid you in your future Facebook Places endeavors. Tell me, have you begun using Places? Did you find the original proposition a little creepy like a lot of other people did?