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Facebook Takes a Big Step toward Competing in Local Search

Facebook Places

I’m not sure exactly when it happened but Facebook has apparently redesigned its Places Directory (courtesy of a tip to Search Engine Land). The site has now become considerably more usable as a local search and discovery tool.

I’ve been wondering for a long time when Facebook was going to release a stand-alone Places app. This new site seems an almost certain prelude to that eventuality. Below are screens that illustrate the Place site is now more viable as a TripAdvisor alternative.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 10.06.06 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 10.06.31 AM

Users can search for cities and then browse categories such as hotels, restaurants, attractions and entertainment. You can also filter by social criteria (Liked by Friends, etc.) and save listings to a personalized directory.

Facebook probably has more business or places ratings than any other site online, including Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor, although they may be uneven by category and relatively “thin” (little or no depth). With some additional filtering capability and the capacity to deliver more in-depth reviews Facebook will have something very competitive.

I think we’re seeing the lead up to a local search/discovery app that could be quite disruptive to the existing players if done well. It’s getting very close.

Facebook ratings

One Response to “Facebook Takes a Big Step toward Competing in Local Search”

  1. Boyd Butler says:

    No doubt that Facebook is gunning for Google on local with this. Good competition for Google and I think that the engagement of Facebook could win 30% of local ad share online.

    They’re never gonna take it all because people will still search…but recommendation from friends is big so that’s where they are going to win.

    Also much easier to place an advert on Facebook compared to the nightmare that is Google.

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