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Facebook Revamps Local Discovery Feature Nearby

imageOn Monday, Facebook updated its mobile apps for iOS and Android, Completely renovating its Nearby feature into something resembling Foursquare and Yelp.

The old version of Nearby allows users to check in to locations they visit, informing their friends where they are and what stores, restaurants and bars they frequent.

Facebook has a wealth of information in its database regarding local businesses. Most businesses have their own Facebook profile, which users can like or comment on. With the new update, Facebook is using all of this data to the users’ benefit.


The update is a complete overhaul of the design and layout of Nearby, adding a search tool which helps users to discover local businesses, just like the search tool on Foursquare.

The search tool is intuitive and easy to use: on the opening screen there is a search bar and, underneath, a list of categories including Restaurants, Arts, Hotels and Nightlife. each category then divides into subcategories so, for example, Shopping is separated into Music, Groceries, Electronics, etcetera.

Nearby
Search results are shown on a map at the top of the screen and in a list at the bottom. The list is ordered in relevance, just as stories are ranked in the News Feed, with a star rating out of five and a list of friends who have liked the venue.

Clicking on one of the businesses will take you to a brand new Place Page designed specifically for Facebook Mobile, featuring a Like button, a Call button, a Check In button and the option to leave recommendations and comments.

“In addition to discovering new places to visit, you can share what you think by rating or recommending places to your friends”, says Josh Williams on Facebook’s Newsroom page. “Your own suggestions become more personalized the more you and your friends rate, recommend, and check into places.”

The update is not currently monetised, but it is easy to presume that in the future advertisers will be able to pay to get their businesses ranked first in searches.

Facebook Nearby

Nearby is currently in its early stages, but it is good enough to immediately compete with Fousquare and Yelp. Thanks to Facebook’s huge user population, if Nearby is combined with Events and a check in system similar to Foursquare’s, it could begin to outperform its competitors.

The updated Nearby will be released to 1% of Facebook’s users today, and will be steadily rolled out to all users over the next week.

Are you looking forward to getting hands-on with Facebook Nearby?

Contact us on Twitter or leave your comments below.


Will Sigsworth

Follow us @SocialMediaF & @WillAtSMF

www.socialmediafrontiers.com
Facebook Revamps Local Discovery Feature Nearby Reviewed by Will Sigsworth on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 Rating: 5
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