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Facebook Places – make love, not war by claiming your Place



Perhaps you’ve heard?  Facebook recently released a new Check-In feature called Places.  Mostly, from what I read, people who comment on these sorts of things, they think it’s lame and useless.  I don’t know how it will all work out.  Actually nobody knows.  But generally speaking, my money’s on Facebook.  I see that when I click on my Facebook Places iPhone icon, plenty of people are checking in.

Rather than fight Facebook, you might want to make Facebook your friend, just in case, you know, it really takes off.

But before I share how to customize your own Facebook Places page, let me add my voice to the shouts about Places security settings.  The Facebook default for Places allows your friends to Check You In.  The first thing you might want to do is change your Facebook Places security setting.  If you don’t disable the feature, your friends can check you into places you’re really not at.  For example, you might be sitting at home watching New Jersey Housewives, and your loose cannon friend is checking you into a strip club, or worse, a Justin Beiber concert.

Here’s how to diable that feature. I’d go do that right now, then come back.

Back to customizing your Facebook Places Page – for your business

So the idea here is, instead of checking in at the Facebook default for your real estate office, you can create your own entry.  You can included your name, phone numbers, and a little promo/bio.  The whole process takes only a couple of minutes.

Here’s how you start:

Launch your iPhone Facebook App and click on Places.  Sorry, if you don’t have an iPhone, you’ll have to find other productive stuff instead.

Next , click on the Check In button.

Next, Facebook uses geolocation to  serve up Places it knows you are near.  It’s not important what shows up here, because we’re going to create our own Places Page location.  Cool.  What you want to do is touch the + button.

At the next screen, type in your information.  But before you start typing, think about what information you want to include.  Once you’ve entered your information and touched the “Done” button (lower right corner) there is no edit.  Finish, and touch “Done”.

Boom goes the dynamite.  Here’s what my customized Check-In looks like on the iPhone. You can see I added my name, the company, a litte info, and a thank you. That’s better than checking into a generic site, right?

Here’s what it looks like on a Facebook Page Profile Page.  So the idea here is, if you’re checking-in at your office, why not have personal branding 411, like your name, contact information, etc.,  instead of generic company stuff?

Wait there’s more.  You can claim “your” Place.

You can read about here on Facebook or just follow along below:

How Do I Claim My Place?
To claim your Place, search for your business name on Facebook via the normal Search bar. If your business’ Place already exists on Facebook, click on it to visit its page. At the bottom left side of your Place there will be a link that says “Is this your business?” Click on the link and you will be directed to a claiming flow.

Facebook will ask you to verify that you are the owner through a phone verification process, or you may be asked for document verification. Once your claim is confirmed, you will own your Place on Facebook.

Type the name of your customized place into the search bar.  As you can see, I typed Ken Band into the Search box.  Facebook found, and displayed my Place.

When you’ve found your Place, click on the link, and the page below will appear.
1. Click on the “Is this your business?” link, and the 2. box will appear.

Check the box, and click on the Proceed with Verification button.

After you click the Proceed with Verification button, the box below will appear. Type in your info. Remember, once you hit Submit, there is not edit function.  I didn’t include my SSN, but I did upload a photo of my R.E. Lisc.  Hit the Submit button.

That’s it, you’re finished.

At some point, Facebook elves will verify our verifications.  Hopefully they’ll approve it, and we’ll rock on. In the mean time, when we check into the office, instead of generic company information, we’ll have our own customized Place Page.  I imagine that eventually, when Facebook adds Yelp style ratings and Foursquare tips, etc., having our own Places Pages will pay off.  I hear all the criticism about Places, and who knows if will fly or not?  But if it does, we’ll already be there.  Cheers.

PS: Bonus… if you’re wondering how to screen capture your iPhone screen – here’s the trick.

Thanks for reading.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Paula Henry

    August 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I’m really sad I don’t have an iphone 🙁

    • Ken Brand

      August 26, 2010 at 10:21 pm

      It won’t be long, all the phones will have the Facebook App updated. Before you know it:-)

    • Jason Barone

      August 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm

      Not sure what platform you have, but you can also use the interface which works excellent on Android.

  2. Joe Loomer

    August 27, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Cool App! Waiting on my HTC Facebook App to update – not on there yet.

    Ken – these are awesome step-by-step screenshot directions – thank you!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

    • Ken Brand

      August 27, 2010 at 8:10 am

      Morning Joe, thanks. It was pretty straight forward. It will be interesting to see how Places evolves. Cheers, have a nice weekend.

  3. Dave Lewand

    August 27, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Good stuff, Ken! There’s definitely an iPhone/Facebook Places lovefest happening right now. Unfortunately, Blackberry & Android users are not currently able to test this service in the same way (for many reasons!), but it’s worth noting that the day after Facebook launched Places, Foursquare received its largest number of one-day signups ever.

    For business – and particularly commercial real estate – my eyes are fixed on Google Places. What can I say, I’m a Google guy!

    • Ken Brand

      August 27, 2010 at 9:41 am

      Google Places, Facebook Places, Foursquare, etc., I’m trying get my arms around all of them. In our business, it’d like to omnipresent. Cheers, and thanks for sharing.

  4. Brandon

    August 27, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I think check-in apps and services basically say “come rob my house cuz I’m not there …”

    • Ken Brand

      August 29, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      Yeah, I get that. It’s wise to consider when, and where you CheckIn. I was thinking that if people know I work, they know I’m not home, Letting people know I was at work, might not alert anyone to something they don’t already know. Good point, maybe checking in out of town might be put your empty home at risk. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Jason Improta - Calabasas Homes for Sale

    August 27, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Just need it to come to the Droid

  6. Dan Connolly

    August 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    And the best thing about Facebook is the “hide” option! So those of us who despise foursquare and anything like it can quickly banish the Places updates! Yay! Woo hoo!

  7. Krisstina Wise

    August 29, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Thanks, Ken–going to set up my FB Places today as a result of your post. You’re right–might as well play nice with FB since they appear to be ruling the social media world. My question is that I’m curious as to how, if at all, Places is any different than Foursquare? With 4sq I check in, can own a ‘place’ that is customizable, it uploads my checkins to FB and TW –so is there a difference (other than no Mayors or swarms yet on FB)? or is FB just trying to mimic 4Sq and we should choose who we think will be the winner in this geo space?

    • Ken Brand

      August 29, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      Good questions Krisstina, I’m not sure myself. It seems to me that the immediate advantage is that Facebook has more subscribers, and therefore they have more people who may begin using the new feature, whereas they might never choose to adapt an additional social platform (Four Square). Also, I guess that means that if we’re using Facebook Places to check-in, then we’re most likely broadcasting to a larger network of your friends.

      As an aside, this adds some weight to a strategy of growing your network of Facebook friends from small, to larger…just like in real life. Not many successful people attributie there success to limiting the number of people they know, or more importantly, the number of people who know them.

      No idea who will win, so many twists and turns, plus Google is racing to get into the game as well. I think the best bet is to have involvement with all the leaders, then we’ll be positioned to point-and-hug, whichever way the wind blows.

      Thanks for commenting.

  8. Peter

    July 27, 2011 at 1:04 am

    The more I’m learning about social media, the more I realize just how much I don’t know. Thanks for the insight.

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Social Media

Facebook beta features fresh friendly facade you can try out

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook is trying to change it’s image, literally. They already changed their logo, now is time for a new design you can see in the beta.



facebook beta

After sixteen years in the game, Facebook is getting a facelift. Facebook has been working on a redesign for quite some time and they’re finally starting to roll out a beta. Facebook is taking the rollout slow, so it looks like just a few users are seeing the redesign and the rest of us will have to wait. Want to be among the first to test out the new look? Here’s how you can, maybe, make it happen.

If you are one of the lucky few who has been selected to beta test, then getting the new design should be simple. When you log into your account (as if you ever log out) a pop up will prompt you to try out the new beta. If this doesn’t happen, and you’re still feeling optimistic, then turn your eye to the upper right-hand corner of your screen and look for a button labeled “See Facebook Beta.” Still no button, but want to keep the hope alive? Click the drop-down arrow in the right-hand corner of your screen and see if the Facebook Beta option appears in the dropdown. Nothing yet? Tough luck, kid. You have not been chosen.

If the new design is available to you, then Facebook will offer to give you a tour of the new system. The fresh UI aims to simplify the user experience by making the page less cluttered and easier to navigate. Icons will be sleeker and brighter and it should be easier than ever to access your Messenger conversations. And if you decide that you kind of hate the new design, no big deal. Users will have the option to switch back to the classic design, at least while the redesign is still in beta.

Platform redesigns are always a contentious topic of conversation for users. Twitter, in particular, has seen some user drama over its redesigns through the years. Sometimes a redesign will knock out your favorite feature or make a shortcut you used to take in a workflow pointless. And, honestly, sometimes people just don’t like change. Whatever side of the coin you’re on, let us know how you feel about Facebook’s new look.

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Social Media

Google takes a shot at competing with TikTok, Pinterest videos

(SOCIAL MEDIA) We all love to sit and watch short videos, be they humorous, reactionary, or weird, but here is Googles attempt to get educational with Tangi.



Tangi screenshot

It’s happened to anyone who’s ever been looking online for how-to help… you click on a likely-sounding YouTube video, only to be greeted by an ad you can’t skip, a whole lot of introductory chit-chat, and three minutes of build-up before you finally see exactly what you need to do to handle your would-be DIY hack.

But what if you could get your answer in 60 seconds or less? It’s the concept behind Tangi, a newly released Google app created in the company’s Area 120 incubator by developer Coco Mao.

Variously described as short-form YouTube, video Pinterest, or TikTok for makers, Tangi was inspired by Mao discovering that her “smartphone challenged” parents were using their devices to watch photography and painting tutorials—and developing new hobbies as a result.

She came back to Google and worked with her team to develop Tangi as a place where such how-to inspiration could be more easily found and taken advantage of. “The name is inspired by the words TeAch aNd Give,” she explained as she introduced the app at the end of January. “’Tangible’—things you can make.”

The philosophy behind Tangi means this is hands-on how-to for the crafty club. The time-lapse heavy videos “could quickly get a point across,” Mao said, “something that used to take a long time to learn with just text and images.”

Videos fall into categories of art, cooking, DIY, fashion and beauty, and lifestyle, and are often accompanied by links to recipes or the maker’s blog or Instagram for more information. Some makers don’t quite have the format down pat yet, but most manage to provide a good balance of visual inspiration and a little more information.

And like Pinterest, Tangi can turn into a time-lapsing rabbit hole of its own. I started with a mere 10-second clip on propagating succulents (I’ve been doing it wrong), which led to a minute on “when succulents stretch” (“etiolation” — new vocabulary word!), which led to a succulent cake which led to a conversation heart cake and before I knew it, 20 minutes had gone by and I was watching an exploding heart science Valentine and had washed up at “Yoda one for me.”

While the app has only been out for about a week … and is only available on iOS and the web … it’s already well populated with content from makers and lifestyle bloggers who partnered with Mao’s team during the development process. And though it’s still in closed-beta mode for content creators, users can apply to be on a waitlist to be invited to upload their own work.

There are a few question marks still. No word on when it will be available on Google’s own Android platform, for one thing. While a couple of intrepid contributors are reviewing education apps and dispensing startup advice, its philosophy as stated by team lead Mao may not extend much more beyond the maker and creative fields to include technology and workplace input. And Google doesn’t always support its apps for long.

But it’s fun, simple, and easy on the eyes. As a place to find quick inspiration and direction, Tangi could carve out a niche.

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Social Media

New Reddit policy on impersonation mimics other social media giants

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Reddit is the latest social media company to change their policy to protect against deepfake impersonation, because of the harm they can cause.



impersonation with deepfakes

Reddit is the latest social media company making updates to their rules and policies ahead of the 2020 election. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and now Reddit are all trying to make the social internet a safer place to receive information.

Reddit’s new policy officially bans impersonation with the goal of handling “bad actors who are trying to manipulate Reddit, particularly are issues of great public significance, like elections.”

Deepfakes have become a key topic of conversation the last few years. In the wake of the mass spreading of misinformation during the 2016 presidential election, users have grown wearier than ever of the information they see online. Deepfakes are no longer a niche subject, but an everyday pain point that technology companies are scrambling to control.

In a statement made on r/redditsecurity, Reddit informed users of the change to website policy stating, “Reddit does not allow content that impersonates individuals or entities in a misleading or deceptive manner. This not only includes using a Reddit account to impersonate someone, but also encompasses things such as domains that mimic others, as well as deepfakes or other manipulated content presented to mislead, or falsely attributed to an individual or entity.”

The platform isn’t trying to make a mass change to it’s often humor driven culture. Parody and satire are still allowed forms of impersonation so long as the joke is obvious. Reddit has vowed to always take context into account when looking at cases of user impersonation.

It’s a good sign for society when popular social platforms start taking their role in controlling the spread of false information seriously. Companies like Reddit are in a position to create real change in the way we spread and consume information about major global events.

What’s unclear is how much man power these companies are putting behind their policies. Reddit ends their statement by pointing users to a report form that users can submit if they or someone else is the victim of impersonation. The question users should be asking is how long would it take to get a response or see action on these reports?

Policy changes are great, but if companies are simply throwing them onto their fine print with no resources behind enforcement then it’s not social change, it’s just legal jargon to protect their ass.

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