Facebook has had its own native check-in service in one form or another since August 2012. But Facebook Places hasn’t been a leader in check-ins. Foursquare is the titan in the field, but with a recent Instagram tweak, this could change very soon.
According to Fast Company, a small group of Instagram users have been presented with Facebook Places login infrastructure instead of Foursquare. While places has never been particularly popular for live location sharing, users have been geotagging photos, albums and status updates for years, so Facebook does have a bank of location data at its fingertips.
Foursquare is tied to Instagram because Foursquare has been providing data and functionality through its third party API, which is also used by Pinterest, Vine and Flickr. Since Instagram is now a Facebook subsidiary, it makes perfect sense that Facebook would try to implement its geo-tags and location services, rather than rely on a third party. Especially when that third party is essentially a competitor.
“Foursquare is a great partner” and users “will continue to be able to share their check-ins to Foursquare from Instagram,” an Instagram spokesperson told Fast Company. So while there’s no immediate worry that Facebook Places will be forced on an unwilling picture-snapping public, it’s easy to see which way the wind is blowing.
Facebook has been acquiring companies for years, as have most of the tech giants. Google has been consolidating all of its services into one uniform product under the G+ banner, and Facebook is pushing for the same. Why bother spending billions of dollars to buy companies you want, only to let them continue according to the status quo?
Facebook wants maximum value, which is why people are unhappy about the Oculus Rift acquisition and the WhatsApp purchase. Facebook says that it won’t mess with the companies it purchases. But Instagram has Facebook Places now.
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