Facebook recently launched a revamped Nearby section of its mobile apps, which includes a guide to restaurants and other local businesses that are ranked based on Likes from friends, check-ins, and similar social data.
The updates to the new iOS and Android apps include the ability to browse and search for local businesses, as well as share those businesses with Facebook friends.
When opening the Facebook mobile app, users can choose “Nearby” from the main menu, and then view a selection of local businesses based on their current location. Users can also choose categories such as restaurants if they are looking for a particular type of business.
The screenshots above show both the page where users can browse different local businesses, and the details they see when they select a business to view. When browsing businesses in the app, users can see the business name, type, location, which friends like the business on Facebook, and its rating out of five stars.
The business suggestions in the Nearby section can become more personalized to each users as they (and their Facebook friends) rate, recommend, and check into different locations.
The new features aren’t anything consumers haven’t seen before from services such as Foursquare and Yelp. But since Facebook has such massive collections of data from its users, both individuals and businesses, the app could offer advantages over such competitors.
And since so many consumers are already on Facebook constantly, it seems likely that many of these people will prefer to use Facebook’s Nearby features rather than opening up another mobile app to find local businesses and read reviews, especially since Facebook can offer recommendations from their actual friends and connections.
Because of these changes, it’s important for businesses on Facebook to keep all information such as category listing, location, hours, contact information, and other parts of the About section up to date in order to take advantage of the potential mobile app traffic.
The updated app just began rolling out to a small amount of users, and should be available to all users soon.
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