In a jaw-dropping move Facebook dropped Places only one year after launch. The omni present social network re-purposed the check-in service with a new contextual focus.
In the past, you needed a smart phone to easily share your location. Now you can share your location from your computer, too, and say:
- Where you've been. Remember where you were in your favorite photos.
- Where you are now. If friends are nearby, they might just meet you there.
- Where you're going. Friends who have been there can give you tips or even join in the plan.
A New Focus, and it's about Plans
This is a game changing move for event organizers as users will now focus on sharing past, present and future plans, rather than just checking into a venue. This adds lots of context to location and events become an active part of the new sharing game.
If in the past I could tell my friends I was at the ABC Bar, I can now tell them I am planning to attend a networking event at the Cargo Bar.
This is not a radical change as they already introduced events check-ins, but Facebook is now clearly asking to share what are we doing instead of where are we doing it. Therefore the push for events will be inevitable.
On top of that, this is not anymore a mobile game. Users will be able to share plans from their desktop.
Focus on Venues is a Losing Game
I clearly reinforced it 2 days ago when Foursquare introduced events check-ins. I was not happy about the emphasis on venues. Events should not be tied to venues. Facebook clearly understood it and responded with a game changing strategy.
What is the Impact on Event Check-ins Adoption?
I can foresee an increase in event related check-ins. This looks like a bold move to compete not only with Foursquare but also with Plancast where users have been sharing plans for a while now.
One thing for sure, it is an exciting move for event lovers.