I have to tell you that I thought this technology (Facebook Places) was going to crush the "checkin" landscape. No I think it's a big pain in the ass. There's a ton of 'cover your ass' screens I felt like I was going to get porn at the end. I understand that the process will streamline itself and that Facebook at least didn't put a bullet in their eye by doing a private roll-out *COUGH-COUGH!* Google Wave *COUGH-COUGH!* So with that said let's just wait and see. But a few things to note on the screen process below:
- The oh-so-helpful error screen to start
- Followed by the fact that it can't find my office that I check into every day
- "Ask Them First" -- Really. LOL.
- "Learn More" on the fourth screen – intuitive fail
- And the reward is it gets posted to my Facebook – wait, didn't Foursquare already do this?
Look, I'm not player hating, just pointing out some pot-holes that I'm sure will be smooth out in time. There's a lot of thinking right now and sadly you can't make people think in the usability world.
Addendum: This also goes to great lengths to tell me how important the 'game play' aspect of FourSquare and Gowalla is. The anticipation of points and badges, beyond simply telling the world where you are is a key factor for Facebook Places to become a success. There's simply too much "checkin fatigue" here to make this a viable part of my social graph.