Facebook is taking on Foursquare and Yelp with its latest feature, which attempts to increase foot traffic for local businesses.
The social network has updated the Nearby tab on its Android and iOS apps, enabling consumers to find places near them based on the Likes and recommendations of friends.
Previously, the Nearby function only revealed where friends have checked in. Now, it includes a ratings system, recommendations, and the ability to search for certain business categories, such as restaurants.
In addition to finding new places, members will also be able to rate and share their recommendations with friends. These recommendations will also display basic information about your business. You’ll want to make sure you’ve included important details — such as address, store hours, and phone numbers — in the About section of your Facebook Page.
While local businesses are sure to benefit, it’s too early to tell if this update will have any long-term effect on Foursquare or Yelp. We should note that since the announcement Yelp’s stock has dropped 3.5 percent in late-day trading.
The revised Nearby feature is being rolled out later today, which means that not everyone will gain access to it at the same time. Facebook noted that because this is a very early release, results will get better the most people use Nearby.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.