Facebook announced last night its own location-based "check-in" app -- this being the social-networking site's response to similar applications like FourSquare, Gowalla and Brightkite. The new app, called Places , is available on the iPhone, with the latest version of the Facebook app, and through touch.facebook.com on mobile devices that support HTML 5 and geolocation.
"If you're like me, when you find a place you really like, you want to tell your friends you're there. Maybe it's a new restaurant, a beautiful hiking trail or an amazing live show," Michael Sharon, Facebook product manager for Places, wrote on the Facebook blog Wednesday night. "Starting today, you can immediately tell people about that favorite spot with Facebook Places. You can share where you are and the friends you're with in real time from your mobile device."
Users "check-in" via the iPhone app or touch.facebook.com and hit the "check in" button, which will then provide a list of nearby places. You choose your location from the list and that will become a new story on friends' News Feeds, according to Facebook.
The check-in app also ties in other aspects of Facebook. For instance, users can tag friends, provide status updates or post photos with the check-in. It will also show you a list of other "People Here Now," regardless of whether you're Facebook friends.
"This section is visible for a limited amount of time and only to people who are checked in there. That way you can meet other people who might share your interests," Facebook said.
Users can also opt out of the "People Here Now" section through the privacy control sections.
The app also lets friends check you in places, if you don't opt out of that option. And the app automatically is disabled for minors.
The new product is being rolled out to users in the U.S. throughout the next few days, according to Facebook .