Facebook, the massive social networking service, announced a new feature yesterday called Places and released an update to its iPhone app that incorporates the new feature. Places allows Facebook users to check in to a location to announce where they currently are, à la Foursquare. In fact, Foursquare along with Gowalla, Yelp, and Booyah are partnering with Facebook to use the new Places API to augment their own services and exchange information with Facebook.
Facebook’s privacy practices have been under a lot of scrutiny recently and the company is offering users control over how much Places information is shared with others. If you’re concerned about who sees your Facebook check-ins, you need to go to the Facebook web site to adjust these settings since they can’t be changed in the iPhone app. The settings on Facebook allow you to choose who can see when you check in somewhere and if your location can be shown along with others after you’ve checked in.
You can also control whether or not your friends can check you in without your input.
Places isn’t fully active everywhere yet and reports across the internet indicate that many are still seeing a message indicating that the feature has not yet been rolled out in their locations yet.
Unfortunately, this app update does not add specific compatibility with the iPad to take advantage of the device’s larger screen.