Using Facebook Places in Korea

Korea is one of those unfortunate places that didn’t get blessing from Facebook yet. If you try to access Facebook places via Facebook for iPhone, it says “sorry, you are out of luck.”

Nonetheless, don’t give up yet, there is a way!

You can trick Facebook into thinking that you are from some other country. In order to do this, you have to re-route all your network traffic to a server located outside Korea using VPN. VPN stands for virtual private network and it works similar to a proxy server. I am not going into technical details. You can read more about it here.

The good news is, iPhone supports VPN natively and all you need to do is find a VPN host located in a country where Facebook places is activated and setup like you setup an Email account. Finding a good reliable VPN host it the hardest part. Paid ones seem reliable but who wants to spend money on using a Facebook feature? I opt to find a free one and there are tons. I will leave it up to you guys to find a good VPN host (and let me know if you find a good one.) To get you started, I will show you the one that worked for me.

Hotspot Shield offers a free VPN host server for iPhone. You first need to click “Get Account ID” to obtain your account id and password then follow the instruction.

  1. Make sure that Wi-Fi is marked “OFF” in

Settings -> Wi-Fi

  1. Then find the VPN settings in

Settings -> General -> Network -> VPN -> Add VPN Configuration:

  • Select the IPSec tab/pane
  • Description: HotspotShield
  • Server:
  • Account: [Click “Get Account ID” button]
  • Password: [Click “Get Account ID” button]
  • Use Certificate: OFF
  • Group Name: hss
  • Secret: hss

If you setup correctly, you will see a blue VPN badge at the top status bar.

Now, try opening Facebook App for iPhone to see if you can check-in to a place.

Since Facebook Places is yet available in Korea, you most likely have to create a new place everytime you check-in and that’s no surprise. It’s a hassle but you could be the first one to tap your favorite spot.

Ta-da!! It works. You also get a “check-in” option in News Feed. Now, you can ditch foursquare and start using Facebook Places in Korea.

By the way, it seems like you just need to access Facebook Places via VPN once, then it works without VPN the next time (I could be wrong.)


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