Facebook has officially announced the launch of Facebook Places. Places is service a lot like foursquare, and other geo-location services that allow you to check in to a place using your smart phone. Places integrates this feature into Facebook and allows you to see if any of your facebook friends are nearby. You can also see if any of your friends have been to the same location as you and what they said about it. You can even tag friends with Places like you would with a photo.

I think that integrating more of a review system like Yelp will be important because you are getting reviews from trusted sources. It is becoming more for prevalent for social media marketing services to motivate people to post reviews online for reasons more than just a fondness of the business and or its products. If you see that a friend of yours or even a friend of a friend has for example been to a restaurant, you will have more confidence that the review isn’t bogus.

When I was on YouTube today looking up some videos at least 90% of the comments are negative. Some of my favorites are “seems a little big brother” and “stalk book has now recently made the change to stalkbook 2.0.” I can easily see these peoples concerns, and I personally don’t think I like the idea of little known Facebook acquaintances that I accepted out of friendly guilt being able to track me down.

Places is likely to be a big competitor for other location-based apps like Gowalla, Yelp, Booyah and Foursquare. Apparently these companies were at the press release of Facebook Places, and they all have plans of how they will integrate their services into Places. If you cant beat them join them, right.

Check out these 2 videos

Facebook’s heartwarming commercial

This one seems a little more honest

Phil Sanders