Facebook Places launched in Canada today, adding to the trend of location based systems like Foursquare and Google Latitude. Canada joins the US, UK and Japan as Facebook roles out what it hopes will bring social media location users back into its fold, and ensure that new users stay with them. Currently there is only a Facebook Places App for the Apple iPhone – which is great for yours truly, as I finally managed to get an iPhone. Testing of a number of location apps will begin tomorrow!
The marketing impact of location systems is still emerging but it is, but it is not hard to image potentials. Food carts/vehicles in Los Angeles have been using Twitter for a couple of years to notify customers of their locations – and a website recently launched listing the Twitter streams and GPS of mobile food vendors in LA, Portland, San Fransisco and New York. It’s an easy leap from Twitter to ‘Places’.
One event that should put Victoria on Facebook Places is the upcoming Social Media Camp – Oct. 3rd at the Victoria Conference Centre. An email and blog post today from Chris Burdge and Paul Holmes on the conference website demonstrated how far Victoria (#YYJ) has come in the past year with Social Media – while they originally planned for a maximum 300 participants, it is now at 400 confirmed. A recent surge in requests for tickets has resulted in some re-organization, a new speaker (Lorraine Murphy – @Raincoaster) and another 100 available tickets, to 500. You have until Sept. 28th to book – and this might sell out sooner.
So, while I calm nerves about presenting ‘Social Media and Campaigns‘ in front of so many tuned in people, figuring location services into political and issue campaigns in a 15 minute presentation is occupying my thoughts.