In case you haven’t heard, Facebook has a new product that seems to be taking aim at Yelp and Foursquare. The standalone events app is being marketed as “Facebook Local” and it launched in November. The aim of the app is to combine local events and permanent establishments into one single search engine that will be powered by the platform’s 70 million business pages. The idea behind Local is to make it easier for friends to get together and make plans, as it will use information gathered by check-ins and page likes. Similar to Yelp, Facebook Local could be helpful when it comes to picking watering holes, breweries, and restaurants in a given area. Perhaps better than Yelp, Local aims to tell users what’s going on at the establishment, such as a concert or trivia night. There are shortcuts to nearby restaurants, bars, coffee shops, concerts, museums, and other attractions, too.
The interface of Facebook Local is supposed to be much more streamlined and informative than Yelp, and it goes one step further by allowing you to see where your friends and others that you follow frequently visit. Some may view this as creepy, while others are all for having access to more information that will help making pick a hotspot for date night or a friends night out easier. Once you open the app you will see a calendar of the day’s events, a trending events feed, guides to local music, art, nightlife, and other options.
How Will This Impact Yelp – And You?
Digital marketers and consumers alike are wondering what kind of an impact this will have on Yelp, and the answer is we don’t quite know yet. Facebook has launched numerous imitations of other apps and social networks with little success, so many are expecting the same for Facebook Local. However, the easy-to-use interface and ability to dive a little deeper into the local scene than Yelp could make it a success.
If Facebook is successful at promoting the Local app, there is a very real possibility it will become a good alternative to Yelp. Let’s face it – people aren’t super pleased with Yelp right now, especially since the revelation that many reviewers are paid. Yelp also has floundered in keeping up with current closings and openings, often sending people to coffee shops that have long shuttered their doors. If Facebook Local can rely on its wide range of local business data while integrating the social aspect, they could be onto something. One of the most beneficial parts of Yelp and Foursquare is reviews and user-generated content, but this is also something both platforms lack. Facebook Local could really take the cake in this respect, resulting in businesses investing more time on their Facebook page and creating more events to draw in business.
We want to hear what you think – Have you heard of Facebook Local yet, or is this news to you? As a business owner, it’s time to pay attention and start focusing on your business page. If Local takes off like Facebook hopes it will, the last thing you want is to be left trying to appeal to everyone still using Yelp and Foursquare, which could be a thing of the past. To learn more about why this matters to your business, contact Tech Critic today. As a leading Arlington digital marketing agency, we are here to help you make the most out of your business and make sure no trend falls by the wayside.