When social giant Facebook announced it's move into location based services it had to cause some nerves to fray at Gowolla and Foursquare, the two biggest players in the arena until Facebook joined the game. Now Facebook has partnered with 22 major brands likes Gap, H&M, Starbucks, McDonalds and the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. In fact Gap plans to run a campaign in which the first 10,000 Gap customers to sign in at their local store will receive a free pair of jeans. This is the type of game changer that will draw attention to location based services in a market that is teetering on being ready to enjoy it's benefits and dispel the detractors. It will be interesting to see if the smaller innovators are able to grow as the result of their superior technologies or if the elephant in the room will simply plow forward using it's mass and momentum. I've resisted Facebook's Places opting to stay with Foursquare, but local business is slow to embrace the technology in this small (physical) community and I fear Facebook will gain more attention simply because it is a more recognizable brand that shop keepers are much more familiar with.