Facebook has renamed its Nearby feature, which enables members to find places nearby based on the Likes and recommendations of friends.

There are a few things you should know, though. According to Inside Facebook, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of awareness among members of the social network about this feature. When Facebook recently posted about it on its Facebook Mobile page, comments indicated that there is some confusion regarding the product’s uses.

Before Facebook’s update this past December, the only function of Local Search was to reveal where friends have checked in. Since then, it’s been given a ratings system, recommendations, and the ability to search for specific business categories. But despite Facebook’s upgrades, some people still think the feature is used to track friends.

Now known as “Local Search” on iOS — Facebook’s mobile website and Android app still use “Nearby — the function of this feature is made more obvious, which might help to distinguish Local Search from the old Nearby, possibly increasing the number of people who use it.

While Local Search might not be your sole means of discovery, the name change could be the first step of many in an effort to revamp the feature. That said, we suggest leveraging some of Facebook’s other products, such as Places, Graph Search, and Ads to create awareness in the meantime.

[Image credit: UggBoy♥UggGirl]