New Facebook patent could threaten Foursquare and Gowalla

While Facebook Places wasn’t the first on the location-based services scene, it may have just became the top dog. According to Eric Sherman at CBS’s BNET site, the company has been granted a very broad patent, filed in 2007, called “Systems and methods for automatically locating Web-based social network members.”

Will Facebook Places pay off for location-based companies?

Just weeks after Facebook announced its new location check-in feature dubbed Facebook Places, several companies have emerged claiming themselves as the first to leverage the features new set of user data. While each company is using the new service slightly differently, it’s not surprising that they want to tap into Facebook’s growing user base.

Where's Zuckerberg? On stage introducing Facebook Places (video)

Mark Zuckerberg was in his element today. The chief executive of Facebook got to unveil his company’s latest creation, Facebook Places, which adds location to the world’s largest social network. He got up on a makeshift stage in his company’s own cafeteria at its headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. He mingled with the partners and members of Facebook’s own engineering team, high-fiving those who looked his age — only they didn’t have a net worth above $1 billion.

Facebook's Chris Cox explains why Places is 'dope'

Facebook concluded the unveiling of its new Places location check-in feature today with a speech from vice president of product Chris Cox (pictured here at another event) that was either inspiring or cheesy, depending on how charitable you were. Either way, it hinted at the bigger vision that company executives have for the product.

Facebook reveals the details behind Places

Facebook just confirmed the rumors that it’s launching a new location check-in feature. Company executives (including founder Mark Zuckerberg, who kicked off the event) said the product serves three main goals: To allow users to share their location with friends, to see where their friends are, and to discover new places.