Facebook, which claims it has 600 million mobile users, is venturing onto the turf first conquered byÂ Foursquare, a location-based app that since July has been refocusing on itsÂ recommendation serviceÂ andÂ that claims to have 30 million users.
Local businesses that donâ€™t have a Facebook page with a location specified wonâ€™t be showing in the Facebook Nearby search results.
Easy to use
Click on “Nearby” and you will see a map of your location, plotted with local attractions, such as concert venues or museums. The listings you see are only listings where other Facebook users have checked in. If any of your friends have “liked” or checked in at one of those locations, that place will be promoted in your search results.
You can search by name (“Bertie and Boo cafe”) or by category (such as “cafes” or “arts”).
In addition to showing which friends have checked in at a particular place, Nearby helps people discover places near them based on their friendsâ€™ recommendations.
People can explore by category (ex: restaurants or hotels); connect to businesses directly from their phone (by liking, checking in, calling, or getting directions); rate the places they visit via a five-star system; and share their recommendations with friends.
It’s been more than two years since Facebook began letting users share location check-ins made via their mobile devices. Now about one out of four Facebook users worldwide tag at least one of their posts by location each month.
Advice to businesses
Facebook hasÂ also redesignedÂ Places Pages for mobile, because half of the visits to those pages come from mobile users. The companyÂ is upfront about what businesses need to do to take advantage of the changes.
- Update your Page to include all of your basic information, including your address, store hours, phone number, and details about your business in the About section.
- Update your category to make sure you appear when people are looking for your specific type of business.
- Encourage your consumers to like, check into, rate, and recommend your place.