Ticketmaster and Live Nation have just announced their new partnership with Facebook, along with their plans to integrate social media into their interactive seat map feature. The new update will make it much easier for friends to get seats that are in close proximity with each other.
It’s a very cool feature, as anyone who has tried to go to a concert with a bunch of friends would probably agree. Before, the only way to make sure that you’ll be seated together with your friends would be to have just one person buy the tickets and split the costs later. Ticketmaster’s interactive venue maps, which were launched last year, actually made the whole process easier by allowing users to choose their seats on a map after they purchase their tickets. With a little coordination, friends could choose positions in close proximity with each other quite easily. But Facebook integration takes the whole thing further by allowing users to tag themselves on the seats, enabling their friends to see their location when they go buy their own tickets. Users are free to browse around and see the names of those tagged on the seats. If they want to find a specific friend, there’s a sidebar containing a list of their friends’ names. Click on the friend’s name and his or her seat will automatically be highlighted – that is, if he or she allows it.
The feature allows the users to decide who gets to see their seat locations, whether it’s visible to everyone or whether it’s visible only to their friends. So ultimately, the responsibility for security will lie in the hands of the users. The new tool is incredibly useful, but it can also be potentially risky. For one thing, tagging yourself on the seat map will broadcast where you’re going and when you’ll be there. Your exact location will be visible to those in your friends list, which isn’t a problem if your friend list is exclusive to only those people you are close to. However, if your friend list contains acquaintances or, in some cases, complete strangers, then you might just be putting yourself at risk.
Still, the feature’s ingenuity cannot be denied. It is a preview of the direction in which social media is heading and a testament how powerful online social networks can actually be. But like most new pieces of technology, the interactive seat map can be used for both good and bad. The best thing that users can do now is to make sure that their friends lists are exclusive so that they may safely make use of this great new feature.