Facebook is expanding upon its “Places” feature, and local businesses are now offering discounts through the application. When you look for a business, you may see a deal next to it. All you have to do is check-in using the Facebook Place’s software and claim the deal.
Foursquare also offers these deals. In the Cleveland area, I found free bar food with the purchase of a beverage during Happy Hour, and $5 off your next oil change just to name two deals. No matter what kind of business it is, they want you to check-in at their location and if you do they’ll give you a deal.
The check-in applications like Places and Foursquare raise privacy concerns. Do you really want to tell people where you are at any given time? To me, it’s the same thing as posting on your wall that you’re going to Disney World. You’re basically telling the bad guys to come rob you.
I’ve disabled the location feature on my phone. It was a little annoying the other night when I wanted to use the GPS on my phone, but I think it’s worth it to keep a little bit of privacy. I don’t need the world to know where I am at all times. My cell phone company already knows, and I don’t need all these applications to know too.
Some people like it, though, and I think with the idea that you can save money attached to this it’s going to catch on. Everyone is out to save a dollar. You just have to ask yourself — at what expense?