Finally, Facebook Places comes to Kenya.
I’m not sure when it happened exactly but looks like Facebook Places started working in Kenya during this past week. Facebook Places is a location-based “check-in” service similar to Foursquare. Foursquare started the Internet check-in trend a couple of years back and currently is the market leader. Facebook Places lets your friends on Facebook know where you are, what you are doing and connects you to them. In order to use the service, you need a smartphone such as an iPhone or Android that uses GPS to map your location according to the services and places near where you at the time.
I tried out Facebook Places today and already several businesses and residential locations have been added in Nairobi. There are certainly much fewer than the locations you will find nationwide on Foursquare but its clearly just a matter of time before Facebook Places could be much bigger. The reason for this is that there are over 1 million Facebook users in Kenya and whilst Foursquare is something of a niche player with a much smaller following.
Another aspect of Facebook Places which was recently launched and could make it quite popular in Kenya is that of local deals – much like the Groupon clones we have in Kenya such as Zetu and Rupu. Now, considering that Facebook has a much larger user base than Zetu or Rupu in Kenya, it could potentially become a major player in the discount deals space. However, only time will tell just how well Facebook Places fares in the coming months. Personally, I am pretty excited about it! You can read up more on Facebook Places here>