Only one week after Facebook Places became available on Android phones, BlackBerry has begun offering the location-based service as part of its Facebook app. Before Nov. 3, the 12-week-old Places platform had only been available to iPhone users.
And now for Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Whrrl, Booyah, etc., the game for audience share truly begins. With an increasing device-driven availability, it's likely only a matter of time before many of Facebook's 500 million users begin tinkering with Places - perhaps even if they have been checking in on one of the other platforms up to that point.
Tom Goguen, VP of collaboration and social networking for BlackBerry parent Research In Motion, said that expressed interest from BlackBerry users has been recently increasing. "We started seeing requests for this feature in user feedback on our [last] version and started looking at the best way to bring Places into our app," he told ClickZ via e-mail. "We then started to work with Facebook to develop the integration for this new feature, using the publicly available Facebook APIs."
Research In Motion said BlackBerry owners are invited to download an upgraded Facebook app starting today. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said the new version of the app will allow users to check in, add places like restaurants and bars, view places where friends have checked in, and tag friends in photos.
Palo Alto, CA-based Facebook last week said it has 200 million mobile users per month - up from the 150 million it had most recently claimed. The company has not disclosed how many of those people are using its Places platform.
Facebook did not respond to an information request for this story.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014