Facebook Launches ‘Nearby’
Facebook is challenging Foursquare and Yelp with its renewed mobile service called Nearby.
Facebook users can use Nearby to locate stores and restaurants nearby which have been recommended by your friends. So if you want to score online with your business locally, it’s important that you have activated you Facebook Business page, because if you don’t, your company will not be visible in Facebook Nearby.
Facebook Nearby, a menu tab within Facebook’s mobile apps and websites, offers a tool for finding places, both nearby and across a larger area. It loads up recommendations first with venues that friends have visited, recommended or liked. With Facebook’s much bigger user base, that should provide a lot of signals over Foursquare, which has just 25 million registered users.
But it’s not that big of an edge in most cases because a lot of people haven’t tagged their updates with locations or interacted with businesses on Facebook. You can browse for nearby stuff or look across different categories like restaurants, coffee, nightlife, shopping, outdoors.
With Facebook massive reach, Nearby could become a serious competitor for other location based services such as Foursquare and Yelp. Foursquare has been using its more than 3 billion check-ins and other interactions to tune its Explore recommendation engine. That input helps Foursquare come up with more unique and personal suggestions.
While Facebook recommends local businesses based on friends who have liked a business, checked in, rated a restaurant or left a recommendation, Foursquare looks at tips, likes, dislikes, overall popularity, user loyalty to a location, and the local expertise of top visitors. It also factors in whether a place is listed on one of its user-created lists.
I’m a Foursquare fan, so I hope that Foursquare can stay ahead of Facebook. The succes of Facebook Nearby also depends on how well the Facebook app works, which hasn’t been very reliable in the past.
I believe Facebook nearby is a smart way to activate more businesses on Facebook, which could spend some advertinsg budget as well on the network. But in the end the succes of Nearby depends on the audience, will we engage?
What About You?
So what’s your opinion? Do you think Nearby could be a Foursquare killer? We’d love to see your opinion in the comments below.
About the author
Laurens Bianchi is an online marketing professional from the Netherlands and has been blogging on ViralBlog since 2008. Currently Laurens is a Managing Partner and Commercial Director at ICON&Co and Social Media Consultant for the Royal Dutch Football Association.