If you’re planning to go out, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to an event. And Facebook knows it. That’s why it’s rebranding its Events app and naming it Facebook Local.
It launched in the US today and available on both iOS and Android. Although it may be bad news for Yelp, it’s going to be good news for those who are always on the lookout for new bars, restaurants, and attractions.
Facebook Local fuses events and places to its search engine, which is powered by the company’s millions of business pages, reviews, and check-ins. The primary goal of this standalone app is to make it easier for users to perform a search of common things, events and places when they’re planning to go out with their friends.
The Facebook Events app was just above #139 on the app charts for social networking apps category. Furthermore, it only received an estimated 100,000 downloads.
Will it affect Yelp and Foursquare?
It may or may not. But it’s just a matter of time until Facebook beats the two apps in that category. For many years, it’s been offering different features, like food ordering on Facebook and a way to find nail salons and plumbers. Among the three apps, Facebook has a significant advantage as it’s a common place for people to plan events.
With so many things going on Facebook, it’s hard to leave the app. If you do, you might miss invitations to a birthday party, bridal shower, etc.
For that reason, Facebook Local can be a handy app to find the places nearby and what’s happening soon in your circle. It has all the information you may need for sites and recommendations from your colleagues and friends and put them all in one place. Since it’s a standalone app, it’s not buried behind two menus or the chaos of News Feed.
The Local app has three sections. Going to its home screen will let you do a quick search for drinks and restaurants. You’ll also find a list of events that are happening nearby. Then, you’ll see events that your friends are interested in.
The second section is where you find its map and search engine. It looks like Yelp as you can search for, say, coffee or Chinese food. You can also sort the results by “open now” option.
Although it’s not as comprehensive as Yelp’s database, it’s still a useful tool. However, Facebook Local lets you sort by “late night” so you can find places that are still open after dinner.
On the third tab, you’ll find your calendar with Facebook events that you have responded to.
How different is it from Events app?
Local gives you a comprehensive guide to where you are. If it becomes popular, more and more local businesses will be coming to Local. Facebook may allow ordering of food on Local or buying tickets to the event you wish to attend to.
Events app wasn’t a success, but Facebook Local has the potential to reach the top spot.