The urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg probably sold a few extra copies of his book Celebrating The Third Place this week. His book, explaining the importance of gathering places that were neither home nor work, was cited by Facebook when they announced the much anticipated launch of Facebook Places. The new service was nicely explained by both PC World and Mashable for users and businesses.
The Business Insider explained Facebook's goal to become the platform on which all check-in apps are built. Foursquare and Gowalla were announced as developmental partners but their roles could be forcibly changed, as Inside Facebook described a scenario where the existing services operate more as FB app developers than as fully stand alone operations.
The overall reaction to Places was mostly positive, although Between The Lines described the possible 'creep' factor of making your whereabouts known. Facebook seemed to push the long term historical aspect of the service, anecdotally forecasting that users might stumble upon the location where their parents first kissed years ago. Facebook seemed to fully anticipate the privacy issues, although the NYT Bits blog already posted about concerns at the ACLU level.
The service essentially exists only as an iPhone app right now (Mashable provided some screen shots). PC World listed three ways that businesses can take advantage of Places and Social Media B2B added five uses that B2B companies should examine. The first steps towards getting found would be to set up your business as a 'Place' and then claiming it on your existing FB pages.