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A few months ago I wrote about the importance of location based services to digital out of home networks. Here’s a link to that post.

Yesterday, Facebook announced their platform approach to location based services, called Places. In the very near future Google will also announce their location based services product rumored also to be called Places.

Places allows users to “check-in” to locations, like they can with the Yelp, Gowalla and Foursquare, and then leave notes for their friends – or see which of their friends are near by. Chris Cox, Facebook’s VP product management, gave an example that “stories could be pinned to a physical location, so that maybe in 20 years our children will be able to say this is where our parents had their first kiss.”

But so far there has been little or no mention of how Places can benefit places!

If any of us in the DOOH industry has software running in a “place”, this is the moment we’ve been waiting for. “Places” is mainstream.

Er, so what does DOOH do with Places? Here are just a few ideas. You know where to go to find more where these come from….

Display a Place’s activity (number of checkins, who’s checkin in, who’s the major etc). Display curated user tips (or stories as per Chris Cox’s discription above) and offers/info from the location.

Connect the place’s jukebox to a Place’s social stream/fan page/website – what music is playing, what’s the most played music, who played it?

By displaying this data in the Place and beyond, we can search for a place that plays music we like, where our friends hang out etc. We can literally put a place on our own map – not in a static sense, but much more dynamically – showing activity in real time at or close to the location.

Places is going mainstream. So this is a chance for DOOH to take a bigger role in the development in the exciting social media explosion. DOOH is a perfect distribution model for place based media. Location based service platforms from Facebook, Google, Foursquare et al are great at connecting users to location based data. We can connect these two exciting (but otherwise disconnected markets).

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