DON'T PANIC! Facebook Places And Deals Live On

We've seen loads of confusion over Facebook's latest changes to places and deals. Allow us to set the record straight: Neither is completely disappearing.

In addition to the standard user complaints following any change to the site, we’ve seen loads of confusion over Facebook’s latest changes to places and deals. Allow us to set the record straight: Neither is completely disappearing!

The changes to the news feed, privacy settings and the new location tagging represent an expansion of locale-focused features, at the same time that Facebook is de-emphasizing the mobile check-in. But somehow users of the site and many members of the media have the idea that the social network is killing off places.

The idea that Facebook was killing places was heavily reported: Google News lists 1434 stories on the topic.

It certainly doesn’t make sense that, after thousands of businesses had gone to the trouble to manually claim places as businesses and help Facebook identify duplicate listings, Facebook would just delete or ignore that part of their database. And since check-ins are required for Check-In Deals, they live on.

Summary Of The Changes

  • Users can still check-in to places. It wouldn’t make sense for this to go away, because this is a required aspect of Check-In Deals, which are continuing.
  • Places are transitioning into the tagging of locations in posts.
  • Brick and mortar stores and franchises have multiple pages which will be organized into parent-child pages. The parent page is the corporate page and child pages are individual stores. The parent corporate page can be a place (corporate headquarters), and the child pages for stores also are places in their individual location.
  • Deals for Facebook, the daily deals product intended to compete with Groupon, is being discontinued.

Below is a picture of how you can find places listed in your options for tagging the location of your post.

To Add Location to a Post

  • Choose a city, or…
  • Click the location marker (teardrop shape) and start typing the name of a location; choose from the drop-down of suggestions, or if you don’t see one, tell them to just use what you typed

VERY NEW: Places For Franchises, And Parent-Child Pages

Places are fundamental to the parent-child relationship between corporations and individual bricks and mortar stores.

At this time, if you are a heavy-spending advertiser with Facebook, a representative will work with your company to create the parent (corporate) page and establish its relationship to the child (individual store) pages. These store pages are merged with places.

The corporate page has a new tab called locations that helps customers find the nearest store and uses Bing for its mapping.

The best way to look at it is: some pages are places.

Small Business Owners Can Still Claim Places

And if you’re a business owner with a page and you find an unclaimed place page named the same as your business, you can claim it.

You should claim any duplicate place pages to help Facebook clean up their database.

Brian Carter is a Facebook consultant and chief executive officer of FanReach.

And special thanks to Eti Suruzon for the tip about parent-child pages.