Facebook Places finally launches in Australia

Users reassured their privacy won't be compromised

A month after the US rollout of Facebook Places, Australian users of the the social networking site will now have access to the geolocation tool.

Set up as an attempt to compete with Foursquare, Facebook Places allows users to ‘check-in’ at locations with fellow Facebook users alerting them to the fact a user is in a particular physical location.

The application became available in the United States last month and was detailed in a Facebook blog post.

The Facebook Places app is available on iPhone and to smartphones enabled with HTML 5 and geolocation.

In the post, Facebook's Michael Eyal Sharon reassured users who may be hesitant about supplying their personal information to Facebook after recent security bungles, http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/350384/facebook_slammed_again_over_privacy/ that their information would not be misused, saying Facebook would allow the freedom to change settings.

“With Places, you are in control of what you share and the people you share with,” Sharon wrote. “You choose whether or not to share your location when you check in at a place. When you check in, you can tag friends who are with you but only if their settings allow it.”

The tool will provide another revenue stream for the social networking giant, with Sharon writing that Facebook intended to charge third-party applications for being able to access check-in information of users in order serve ads related to a user's location.

“You may want to share your check-in information with third-party applications that build interesting experiences around location, such as travel planningm" the post reads. "Applications you use must receive your permission before getting this information.”

The news comes as Foursquare recently announced a partnership with Australian bookstore Boarders.

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