Location Applications: Privacy vs. Value to Users

On September 7th, 2010, wrote:

With the recent launch of Facebook Places, many social media users and experts are debating the utility of location-based applications compared with the privacy concerns associated with services like Places, Gowalla, Foursquare, and Yelp. While Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp location applications have gained popularity over the past year, Facebook Places is bringing location services to the mass public, not just social media savvy users. With over 500 million users, Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social media platform available. Although Places is currently only available in the United States and has not yet become accessible to all users, some users argue that Facebook’s popularity means Places may pose a major threat to other location applications. Other social media users disagree, arguing that Facebook and Foursquare serve somewhat different functions. While people using Foursquare are clearly comfortable sharing their location with others, many Facebook users feel that Places is an invasion of privacy and have serious reservations about using the service. – Read the full article