By now I am certain you have heard all of the hype and hoorah around Facebook’s new product called Places. The service allows users to share their location and discover new hot spots by following the stops of people in their network.
I continue to read and hear about how Facebook has 500 million users and as soon as they get a few more features and business engagement they will kill all other LBS (Location Based Software) services.
While the folks at Facebook haven’t confirmed how Facebook Places might eventually integrate with Facebook’s business pages, this is undoubtedly in the works and once it happens the implications are obvious — companies will have an easy opportunity to market and promote their services on the most popular and powerful social media platform. – PC World
Give me a freaking break, are you serious? Have we all forgotten all of the privacy and ethical crap Facebook has done over the past 6 months? Let me help refresh your memory.
- Amid Backlash Facebook tries to save face
- After an outcry over a news feed feature, the site is tightening privacy protections—and promises to do market testing next time
- Facebook CEO admits mistakes on privacy control
- Why You Can’t Block Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook
Below are 5 reasons that I believe Foursquare is a superior service to Facebook Places.
- Ethics / Privacy
- Inner Circle
- @Dens vs. Mark Zuckerberg
Ethics / Privacy
Did you read any of the bullet points up top? I found those in 2 minutes and could have listed another 50 if I wanted to spend anytime at all talking about Facebook. The company has proven to be very unethical ever since it’s inception (read Accidental Billionaires). User privacy is compromised to allow Facebook to make money. They take advantage of people who don’t fully understand that the information they place on Facebook isn’t private. They don’t error on the side of privacy (default settings) for their uneducated users and they don’t do a good job of communicating. I believe this will ultimately kill the company. People don’t get on board with products or services they don’t trust. I have a Facebook account, but rarely put anything on it (except Foursquare location info). I used to put loads of data on it, but stopped when I realized what Facebook was doing to my information.
In a recent article, @Dens made a few comments about Places. In it he said the following,
“it’s a pretty boring service with barely any incentives for users to keep coming back.” According to our sources this was a misquote. I can however go on record as stating I couldn’t agree more with this misquote. The service isn’t fun, it is quite simply boring. What do I get as a user that I don’t already get with Foursquare? In my humble opinion the simple answer is “nothing”.
We had a very good chat last night on #4SqCHAT (Every Monday @ 9:00 EST). Many topics were brought up comparing the 2 services. Probably the best quote of the night was given by @redheadjessica . She says, “Users aren’t the ones excited about Places, businesses are. <- Signal of a problem..” . I couldn’t agree more. Another thing to consider as well. I think we need to ask ourselves the simple question. Why did @Dens create Foursquare vs. Why did Facebook create Places? I bet the answers are vastly different.
I believe a great advantage of Foursquare is that it enables people to have a filter on all of the “white noise” of the internet. It gives us an “inner circle” in terms of deals, tips and knowledge. It enables us to get the most value out of our limited amount of time. Facebook is just the opposite. The wall is filled with “Joe lost his sheep” and “Susan needs 3 more guns to knock off cousin Vinny”. Why do I care?
@Dens vs. Mark Zuckerberg
This probably the easiest reason that I will not be using Places. The leader of the ship has to have a vision. That vision can not be for their own self fulfillment. A great quote that resonates with me is from Albert Pike,
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
I don’t believe Dennis Crowley created Foursqare to promote himself. He runs his company in an ethical manner for the greater good. He isn’t irresponsible with the power/information that he now has with this company. I can’t say the same thing about Facebook and their checkered past.
Have a different opinion, leave a comment. I like debates
Article by @bryan_jackson