Facebook Location API Launches: Read Only For Now

Adam DuVander
Aug. 18 2010, 09:32PM EDT

After months of anticipation, Facebook officially launched its Places feature to check-in to nearby locations and share the place with your friends. The launch includes an API extension to its Graph API, which will first be read only. Launch partners include location-sharing platforms Foursquare and Gowalla, which are part of a private beta for the upcoming read/write API.

The readable API becomes available about 2 p.m. Pacific on Thursday, though it's already included in the Graph API documentation. It includes calls for reading check-ins for specific users, places or pages, as well as searching a user's friends' check-ins.

"What I'm really excited about is when we flip the switch and let everyone participate tomorrow," Facebook Places Product Manager Michael Gartenberg said.

The launch partners, which also includes business review site Yelp, are fully integrated, including the read/write API. According to Booyah CEO Keith Lee, who heads location app MyTown, another launch partner, they learned of Facebook Places API "a couple weeks ago."

Check-in apps included in the launch are using the Places API to allow for sharing to Facebook friends from within their applications. They're also mixing in additional meta-data specific to their apps, such as Gowalla's passport stamps and shared photos.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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[...] Facebook says it plans on turning on the Read API for third-party functionality on Thursday. What that means is that third-party services will be able to read your check-ins when you interact with those apps as well as the check-ins of people on your friends list (if their privacy settings allow it), according to programmableweb. [...]

[...] Facebook también liberará una API (por ahora se encuentra disponible pero solo para lectura) la cual lanzo en conjunto con FourSquare, Gowalla y Booyah, quienes integrarán los “check-ins” de Facebook a los suyos, ¿Qué ganan ellos? Pues nada más y nada menos que acceso a 600 millones de usuarios. [...]

[...] Facebook Location API Launches:  Read-Only for Now This readable API becomes available today, Thursday, at 2 p.m. Pacific time.  Meanwhile, Facebook Places Goes Live  on iPhone.  Check-In While It’s Hot (If You Can) [...]

[...] The Factual Places API, which we said may become the go-to location database, is integral to the new service. Offers are tied to specific business listings or can be looked up to find nearby deals. Rather than roll their own venues database, developers are frequently choosing Factual, something perhaps popularized by Facebook, which used Factual when it launched the Facebook check-in service. [...]