Free jeans from The Gap now available on Facebook. Plus hotel rooms, pints of beer, and more. This was all announced yesterday. But there's a catch.
In order to get the deals, you have to use Facebook's Places feature to check in at the businesses making the offers. In other words, check in and let Facebook know where you are.
Facebook is making a big push into what can be called "geosocial services," blending online with the real world. Cyberspace and meatspace. And Facebook is not alone; companies like Google, Foursquare, Gowalla, are all betting that soon we'll all be reporting in using our mobile phones as we move through our day. Reporting what neighborhood we're in, what street corner, what store. We'll be like squad cars.
Of course, Segway scooters were supposed to be the next big thing too. So will geosocial be like the Segway or like the text message?
We talk to Jason Shapiro of St Paul about this. He was an early adopter of the popular service Foursquare and is the Facebook "mayor" of several St Paul locations.
We also talk with Aaron Smith of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. That organization has released a new study on geosocial services today. It found only 4 percent of online Americans are using this stuff so far.
Also in this show, we talk about a website called MapCrunch. It lets you virtually teleport to random places around the world. It's fun.