In London, Facebook held an 8am breakfast briefing to co-inicide with the launch. TNW’s James Glick was there. At the event, Facebook Places Product Manager, Michael Sharon said that they are “Striving for a rich and engaging social experience in everything we do”.
Michael takes us through the tagging process, and in particular the privacy controls which were always going to be a key talking point with the new service.
A nice hand out, summarises ‘What happens when a friend tags me to a place?
Michael continues on tagging, focusing on the importance that ‘only your friends can tag you, you’re notified whenever you’re tagged and you can always remove them’.
Now for the API, the Read API will be available today, partners, as we may know already are Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp and Booyah. The Write API, is still in closed beta but will be available soon.
Now for the Q&A…
When asked where the data will be stored, Michael confirms it will be held in the US with the rest of the service…
At this stage, there will be no commercialisation of Facebook Places in the UK, in terms of ads, just the ability to intergrate Fan Pages with locations. You will be able to target users that are fans of particular page with location data attached.
Quizzed on whether you can tag a picture or video, ‘you can’t right now and have no more to say about this at this time’. ’This is a version 1 launch and will be taking the development one step at a time’.
No specific rollout timetable for the rest of Europe but there are 150 million Places users at this stage across Japan, UK and US.
Michael mentions no plans to allow users to post only to other services such as Twitter, but 3rd party developers will be able to develop services to do this with the APIs.
Minors (13-17 year olds) will only be able to share their location with their friends, not publicly which covers a key privacy concern for many.
That’s all for today, not a great deal new for US users but for UK, we hope we’ve given you a brief overview of the UK launch and will be updating the post with further details later this morning!