Welcome to the World, Facebook Places

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As if we didn’t already know enough about each other thanks to Facebook, the social network behemoth has added one more step, which allows members to share where they are while on the move.

Similar to the likes of Foursquare and Gowalla, Facebook Places sees the firm enter the “location-based services” arena, enabling users to share where they shop, eat or play. Places is only available in the U.S. right now (through the iPhone app or its smartphone site) but plans to make it available to its 500 million members as soon as possible.

“This is meaningful because you can stay connected with your friends around you,” said company founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Here’s how it works: Places uses GPS on smartphones, asking users to tap a “check-in” button to see a list of places near where they are. Then they can choose the place that matches their location and “create a story” in their friends’ News Feeds on the site. Users can also let people know who they’re with by “tagging” any Facebook friends, but only if they check-in to the location as well.

And in the spirit of openness, Facebook said the company planned to let Foursquare, Gowalla and other like-minded services enhance their current integration with Facebook. (via CNN)