Facebook has expanded its check-in function to include events without a physical location, leading to marketing and other opportunities similar to those GetGlue and IntoNow now offer to entertainment and other companies.

The ability for Facebook users to check in to a place using a phone remains unchanged if there is an address: it will appear in the Places Nearby list where it can be clicked. For events like television programs or other shared experiences that don’t happen in any specific place, users can check in by tapping Events on the screen, then tapping the specific event to check in to it.

Checking in to an event on Facebook causes it to appear in News Feed stories, on the user’s Wall, and on the new Ticker currently being rolled out.  As AllFacebook described it, the ticker is a way of displaying real-time information separate from the main feed, the stories of which are now called Highlights.

Example uses include GetGlue’s recent deal with Ryan Seacrest for listeners to check in to his radio show, and IntoNow’s deal with Pepsi that encouraged users to tag a specific Pepsi Max ad by sending a free soda code to everyone who checked in.

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Photo by flickr user Witt Istanbul Suites, used under Creative Commons license