Facebook services are overlapping with those of major players in a lot of different industries. Even for the services Facebook doesn’t offer itself, third parties are offering them through various apps. Warner Bros, for example is starting go offer movie rentals through Facebook – a move many consider to be a potential threat to companies like Netflix.
The location-based service/check-in app space is something Facebook has been involved with for a while, though the Foursquare – the apparent leader here – hardly seems phased by the social network giant’s foray into this so far. Foursquare’s presence was felt considerably more throughout SXSW last week. That’s for sure.
Facebook isn’t done, however. You might say they’re just getting started. Both Facebook Places and Facebook Deals are relatively new, and will no doubt continue to be expanded upon. Facebook is also finding other ways to get people to “check in” however.
AllFacebook found that they’ve added a check-in option to Events pages, which are probably used a great deal more than either Places or Deals. According to AFB’s Jackie Cohen, the option to check in only appears on the day of the event, and when users are actually close by the address. It’s still unclear whether this feature has been rolled out completely, is still rolling out, or is just a test.
It does show, however, that Facebook is looking for more ways to play on location, and event-based check-ins could certainly be attractive for businesses just like any other check-in. Facebook will always have an advantage as long as its user-base is so large. People who check in on Facebook are more likely to share that info with their real friends than they are on any other service. That’s valuable. Foursquare is doing some really interesting things for businesses, but they’re still going to have to continue to contend with Facebook’s power of reach.
Facebook is also acquiring mobile app creator Snaptu. Obviously there is an increasing focus on mobile at the company. Who knows what will come from that buy.