While Facebook has busy making a big deal about design changes to Business Pages, they have very quietly rolled out a new geolocation feature that effects all 500 million personal profiles. Called Facebook Places, this new feature allows Facebook users to check-in and share their exact location with other Facebook users. Furthermore, once checked in somewhere, a person can see who else is there currently. Facebook users can even tag friends at certain locations.
If you're not quite sure where I stand on Geolocation applications, you can read my review of another similiar service by clicking here. In short, I believe these location based services to be VERY bad ideas.
Facebook rolled out their new location based service on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, and did so under the radar of most users. So what's a Facebooker to do?
Opt out! Protect your privacy, and keep your whereabouts out of the public eye. If there's anyone you want to meet up with, do so via less public options.
Here's a step by step outline on how to put your privacy settings on Facebook to keep yourself from out of the public eye:
- From your Facebook home page, click on the Account drop down box in the upper right hand corner.
- From the drop down list, choose "privacy settings."
- The screen that comes up next will look like the photo above. The "Places I Check In" setting is what we're going to change.
- Click on the pencil icon next to "customize settings" (see photo above)
- Click on the drop down box that appears to the right of "Places I Check In" (See photo below)
- Choose "Custom" and edit to "Only Me" (See Photo Below)
- Finally, you'll want to remove yourself from the "People Here Now" option. It is a checkbox located directly beneath the drop down box you just changed. Simply uncheck the box. (See photo below)
You're privacy settings will now keep you and your whereabouts safe, private, and away from the eyes of the general public. As always with Facebook, there are usually a few adjustments after they roll out a new product and/or feature. As changes develop, I'll keep you informed.
Until next time...