When Facebook launched its new geosocial check-in service one week ago, I was convinced it was going to blow its stand-alone competitors completely out of the water simply because it lives where the vast majority of social networking addicts already spend large chunks of time. That would make it hugely accessible and convenient – no need to leave Facebook to broadcast your location such as is necessary with Foursquare or Gowalla. Why go out of your way when it was already right there?
As an SEO, I was excited about it. Check-ins provide another avenue of brand exposure for my clients, and Facebook was telling business owners to claim their profiles. We scouted out the process for our clients by claiming our own company profile. Now, a mere week after Facebook Places was launched, I am ready to predict that it is doomed to fail without some fairly major adjustments. Here’s why.