Facebook Launches New Places Directory to Rival Local Search Sites
The social media giant, Facebook, has introduced something that may soon rival sites like Trip Advisor, Foursquare, and Yelp.
Facebook’s new Places directory, a local search tool, lets users search for the best places to enjoy in any city in the world. When users go on www.facebook.com/places, users simply type in a city or town, and they’re able to select from various restaurants, hotels, bars, supermarkets, landmarks, and more in the area. Each featured place in search results are ranked by user ratings and display comments from friends in a user’s social network.
There’s also additional tools found in the top navigation under “More” that anchor down to a map section, where users can break down the city by neighborhoods. When users click on a category such as “landmarks,” they’re taken to a page where they view and filter results.
The Places directory taps into Facebook’s Graph Search, a feature that’s made to display answers to users’ various search queries made in the top main search bar on their Facebook page. Users are able to search for people, photos, hashtags, places, Pages, and more from this search bar. Graph Search also makes it possible for users to type in complex queries such as “popular TV shows” or “people who like Small Screen Producer” and get answers.
While some sources are speculating that the new Places tool won’t quite replace coveted search and travel sites, it does provide some supplement for finding out what to enjoy in a local area. And while there isn’t a mobile version of this app yet, one thing to note is that Facebook has the ability to display comments and feedback from friends, a strong feature of Facebook that may allow the social network to create mobile experience that’s incomparable to anything else to date.
This is a big step in the right direction for Facebook, a company that’s always finding ways to create utility for users and bring more advertising opportunity for local business owners.