Facebook Local Competing with Yelp?

Facebook is at it again with a useful development!

The Facebook Local app was recently revamped (from what used to be the Events app) to become a real player in the fight to be the best local information provider. I think they stand a real chance at making this great since so many people already rely on Facebook to list not only their business, but also personal and professional events.

facebook events

And perhaps this is true about other places too, but at least for Milwaukee it can be difficult to find the best events going on, having to scan through multiple third-party event websites that may or may not be accurate and up-to-date. At least with Facebook, it seems there’s a better chance of seeing more of the good events in one place.

The features within the app can also be found on the desktop version of Facebook under Events. It’s nicely organized into what’s happening this week, popular event near you, adding in the ability to choose dates, and event categories. What’s more is the app will show you which of your friends have liked a location, or are planning to attend an event. You can set any location to be your “preferred place” for recommendations, whether you live there or not.

The map tab on the app defaults to showing events, but you can change this to any of the other categories, like food, dance, fitness, art, and more. And conveniently you can use the search bar if you know what you’re looking for!

An interesting idea comes to mind with the app permissions. Facebook Local will ask to track your location, and if you agree, they will effectively be able to see which businesses you’ve looked at in the app, and then see whether or not you actually went there. This may seem invasive, but also creates a great opportunity for marketers to see which of their marketing efforts are actually contributing to real-life store visits.

Currently Facebook has not commented on whether Local will feature paid ads. Perhaps they will first get the popularity up before introducing yet another great spot for small businesses to feature their offerings. And then they could potentially offer an option to retarget people who looked at their store(s) in the Local app.

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