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Facebook Places – Claim those hotels!

All my social networks are colliding. I used to check in on Foursquare and share it with my friends on Facebook. Now, Facebook is showing that location based service products are ready for the masses by launching Facebook Places.

Here’s how it works. Using a mobile device, you can find places you are at and check in. When you check-in, you can also tag the people you’re with. These actions will create a story that is posted to your activity feed. (Your friends who were tagged need to allow the story before it is posted to their activity feeds.)

According to Mark Zuckerberg, the three main things Facebook is focusing on with this release are helping people share where they are, helping people see who is around them, and helping people seeing what’s going on. I think this can be huge for hotels for a number of reasons. First, we all turn to friends for recommendations on where to stay. Now, we can easily see where our friends stay when they travel for business and pleasure. It’s like an endorsed ad every time someone checks in. Second, the lobby might get just a little bit more social now that you can see friends who might be nearby. I live in San Francisco but travel to New York often. I would love to know if my Cornell friends are nearby as I check-in with Places. Finally, Places sounds like a great place to share hotel activities such as happy hours, yoga classes or conference events.

Businesses will be able to claim their places, similar to the other location based services and Google Places.

I can’t wait to download it tonight and try it out. More to come once I have delved in deeper.

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