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Facebook and Ticketmaster are making it somewhat easier to coordinate group outings to concerts, sporting events, monster truck rallies and the like with a new integration.

Ticketmaster’s new interactive seat maps will integrate with Facebook, so you can tag yourself in your own seat, find out where your friends are sitting, and even see non-friend Facebook users who will be at the same event.

However, the feature only works if the user in question elects to tag him- or herself in the seat map. When you’re deciding to tag yourself, you have the option of selecting who gets to see you in the seat map. You can set maps to show just your friends, everyone or even no one — the same privacy settings you’d use in any Facebook update.

Here’s a brief demo explaining how the feature will work:

As Ticketmaster sales executive Kip Levin wrote on the company blog, when Ticketmaster started rolling out interactive seat maps, “People were buying tickets they would not have otherwise purchased because they could select seats near where friends or family were already sitting. Which got us thinking, that must take a fair amount of coordination — how can we make it easier?”

Levin also said three quarters of Ticketmaster visitors were signing in with Facebook, which made the integration an obvious choice.

Social ticketing options have abounded in recent years and months, and startups have been bringing the heat in this category. Young companies including Ticketfly and SeatGeek have been setting themselves up to compete with Ticketmaster, particularly on the social and mobile fronts.

“It’s nice to see Ticketmaster adding some social features and trying to improve the experience for consumers,” said Ticketfly CEO Andrew Dreskin on the announcement. “While fairly easy from a technology perspective, consumers will certainly enjoy being able to see where their friends are sitting… On the technology front, I think they really should focus their efforts toward helping their clients with simple things they don’t support now, like online event creation.”

Image courtesy of Ed Yourdon.


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