Facebook Places has gone live in France and Italy, the day after launching in Australia.
An Italian blogger reported on the local launch of Facebook’s location check-in service Places, which was done without any official announcement. Several AllFacebook.com readers have reported that Facebook Places is also live in France. I’ve reached out to Facebook and they’ve confirmed the launches, with more planned in the coming weeks.
Facebook seems to be deploying Places pretty rapidly, with six countries in the last two weeks, including Japan, the UK and Canada. It will need to maintain that pace if it is to reach its goal of operating Places in all Facebook countries by the end of the year. The reason it can’t launch everywhere simultaneously is because it is partnering with local companies for initial listings data, rather than relying on users to fully populate the Places database.
France and Italy, like most of Europe, are sophisticated users of mobile technology. I would expect the rest of Europe to launch pretty rapidly as well, with countries like Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany as well as the Scandinavian nations likely candidates for early release.