Getting local right has been the holy grail for many digital players for years. We're not sure Facebook has the stamina to stay in the tase.
— Kristen Hawley
Facebook has debuted a completely revamped version of its Events mobile app, and this time it appears to have its sights set on Yelp. The new Facebook Local allows people to “Discover places to go and events happening near you. All powered by the people you know and trust.”
Facebook Local works for all kinds of places, but has a natural emphasis on restaurants. It also will still notify you of events of interest, and those that you’ve already RSVP’d to on Facebook, but its true usefulness is in the recommendations.
As Quartz notes, the standalone app aspect seems a little off — especially when you can get the same information by searching Facebook. But now that the social network has baked food delivery into its offering, and reservations coming soon on Instagram, Facebook is betting on the importance of friend-vetted recommendations tied to places. I’m confident delivery and reservations will make their way into the app, too.
This will be interesting to watch. Facebook has become the go-to for many things in everyday life, from news to weather to business information. There are any number of sites and services — and a few huge ones — that provide food recommendations. Now that Facebook is in the game, though, will the game change?
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