London: Amid security concerns, social networking site Facebook has launched a new application ‘Places’ in the UK that would allow users to share their location with friends.
This new feature works similar to the location based social networking site Foursquare, but contains strict privacy controls.
The service was launched in the US last month and is one of a new raft of social networking services that use the GPS function on many smartphones to work out exactly where a person is at any point.
Facebook Places also tells users which of their friends are at the same location or if they have ever ‘checked in’ there before.
It lets users tell their friends when they have ``checked in`` to a location and meet other people who are also checked in there too.
This information then appears on the news updates for all of your Facebook friends.
“Facebook is a place to share information with people you know,” the Daily Mail quoted Facebook product manager Michael Sharon as saying.
“We saw people were already using the site to tell people where they are, so the natural thing was to build a product to make this easier. This just formalises what people were doing anyway,” he said.
Facebook has been under scanner for its attitude towards privacy and so has installed a set of stringent new rules for its Places application.
Facebook Places is opt in unlike other ‘always on’ services, and a user’s location is not stored unless they check in or accept a tag from a friend. Check-ins are defaulted to friends-only rather than everyone on Facebook.
The system works in a similar way to the way photos are tagged in Facebook so when you are tagged as ‘checked in’ by a friend you can also choose to untag yourself.