Did Mark Zuckerberg leave a Facebook Places trail in London?

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At the moment Facebook Places is only available in the United States. Or to put that another way, it’s only available to IP addresses associated with the United States. But clearly Facebook has been working on it for several months, and that also means that they have probably been tentatively testing it in other parts of the world, although there’s not a lot of information to go on right now. But, handily, Mark Zuckerberg travels a lot and has probably been testing Places out himself. Evidence to that affect has emerged today via a developer in London.

Arun Stephens has uncovered what looks, at least to our eyes, like a Facebook Places footprint which Zuckerberg and his entourage left behind on their recent visit to the FB hack day and Facebook Developer Garage in London. His findings make interesting reading.

Stephens says he’s recently been working out of the London tech/coworking spot TechHub [Facebook Place] and found four Places in the area. One was the Barbican Centre, where the Facebook Developer Garage happened.

But slightly hilariously another Place was labelled “Wimbledon” – but was in fact a pub near Tower Hill which was showing a Wimbledon tennis match. Did Zuckerberg catch a game in a pub while he was here? Maybe. And who can blame him after a hard day talking to Facebook developers.

Other places which have appeared in London include The South Bank Centre and, bizarrely, arjunabeats, a record label. Another was Dare, a digital agency which was the location of the Facebook hack day. Zuckerberg was at that event at one point and probably checked in. So far, two London hotels are already listed on Places: Courthouse Doubletree Hilton and Le Meridian Hotel.

In other words, London would be blank were it not for Mark’s visit in June.

Meanwhile, the whole privacy debate is poised to kick off when Facebook releases Places in the UK and other European countries, where the issue is a very, very hot potato.

As we pointed out when Foursquare launched in London, plenty of people still have no idea how to use location check-ins wisely.

Update: A Facebook spokesperson has contacted us to clarify: “Places has been a closed Beta for all employees for a while, not just certain employees.” In other words, it’s not just Mark Z.

  • John O Groats

    FB UK employees have had access to the service.

  • Early Adopter

    Apparently it’s also trivial fo UK facebook users to enable places access by accessing Facebook with a proxy server…

  • http://calomas.tumblr.com Christopher Lomas

    This whole geotagging area begs so many more questions. Is this a move with the times or an invasion further into people’s private lives? I guess thats down to opinion. I also recently met with Derek Troy-West from ‘Flittn’ working on a geolocation software for mobile. this may appear to be the year of geotagging and location based software

    • marc

      “Hey, it’s a band-wagon, let’s jump on it!”

      “Where’s it going?”

      “I don’t know, but it’s a band-wagon. How friggin’ cool is that!”

    • http://www.buzzpromote.com Buzzness

      Of course geo-tagging is an invasion of personal private lives… Lives who choose it. I for now- will choose not to get involved with geo-tagging
      ( check-ins). I’m free!!!!!

      • josh

        If you’re the type of person who actually types “At such and such bar with so and so”, then its just a simplified manner. If you dont do that anyway, then you’re fine. Its opt-in…

  • http://wait-till-i.com Chris Heilmann

    Did he? Oh did he? Be still my beating heart! Is TC now channeling the ghost of Valleywag?

    • will

      lol

  • http://www.electricpig.co.uk/2010/08/23/facebook-places-mark-zuckberg-tested-it-in-london/ Facebook Places: Mark Zuckberg tested it in London? | Electricpig

    […] now | £free | Facebook (via Techcrunch) Share this […]

  • JS

    He also met the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street…I’d definitely have “checked in” for that meet!

  • helen lawrence

    Yup, I work at Dare and was sat next to Zuckerberg when he checked in at the Hackathon. Most exciting moment of my life.

    • Amourmaitre

      You seriously need a more exciting life.

      • SL3000

        Maybe that is exciting to him, ever think about that? No, you wouldn’t would you. You just like to leave snide little comments.

  • http://www.adamwintle.com Adam Wintle

    A little trick I found – you can make a VPN on your iPhone (follow these instructions http://bit.ly/z9CAf) and Facebook Places works perfectly in the UK :)

    Also found once Facebook Places has been activated on the iPhone App you can switch off the VPN and it continues working

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  • Stephen

    Either they made a typo or you did – it’s Anjunabeats..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anjunabeats

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    […] De momento, sólo en Estados Unidos. Pero seguramente no tengamos que esperar mucho, como nos hacen pensar algunos pequeños detalles. […]

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  • rob.maish

    Also found once Facebook Places has been activated on the iPhone App you can switch off the VPN and it continues working.

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