Facebook Renames “Nearby” to “Local Search” on iOS
Facebook gears to compete with Yelp and Foursquare
Photo courtesy: @insidefacebook
Facebook launched “Nearby” for mobiles as a local search product in December 2012. Previously, it only allowed users to see where their friends were checking in to. Facebook has now added new features and renamed “Nearby” to “Local Search” which will help users understand its functions better.
Here are a few things that Facebook has been busy adding to iOS “Local Search”:
1. Browse Categories:
Local Search now shows you a broad range of categories of places near you on the first screen of the feature. You can choose among these and see a list of restaurants, outdoor activity spots, bars, hotels, malls, art galleries and more.
2. Friends’ Favourites:
Your nearby places get sorted by your friends’ recommendations, star ratings and the number of check-ins. So you can easily find out what places appealed to your friends. Endorsements from customers just got more important for brands.
3. Business Descriptions:
The feature also allows users to browse through the business’ description, operating hours and price ranges. The feature will obviously pull this information from the brand’s Facebook page so it is crucial that businesses keep their information up-to-date.
There is also an option to get directions to a specific place, call the company or check-in to the place right from inside “Local Search”. All this information in one place provides a greater motivation for users to visit places.
5. Facebook Page:
The feature provides a link to the official Facebook page and Timeline of the brand so the users can check out the latest updates and news from the brand itself.
With these developments, there are some things that have yet to be improved. Currently, Local Search does not show a lot of photos about brands or businesses. Compared with Yelp and Foursquare, this could be a major drawback for Facebook because its users would opt to use other facilities to find out more about these spaces.
Also, the search isn’t very helpful. For example, if you search for “pizza”, it will only show businesses that have the word “pizza” in their brand name, unlike Google Maps, Yelp and Foursquare that will also display restaurants that serve or deliver pizza but may not have the keyword “pizza” in their titles.
However, as is the case with all software, we hope it will improve as more and more users try it out and give feedback. Have you tried “Local Search”? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Nabiha Zeeshan is a social media addict currently loving her job at Cygnis Media. She spends her leisure time researching on social media trends and consumer psychology. Follow her @NabihaZeeshan