Facebook has recently relaunched their Events app as ‘Facebook Local’, which is offered as a separate app from the principal website, just like Facebook Messenger is. Likewise, the app is additionally accessible to both Android and iOS users. Facebook aspires to contest with Yelp and Foursquare with this endeavour.
Unlike Yelp and Foursquare, however, Facebook Local obliges the user to login with their Facebook account. From there, the user can hunt for establishments, shops and upcoming events. The distinction with Yelp and Foursquare, however, is that you can view friends’ Liked companies and events they’ve marked as ‘Going’. Additionally, Facebook Local features the option for them to track your location, from where the algorithm can formulate more localised activities and organisations nearby. However, the user can also select a preferred location if they desire.
Facebook Local then aims to compete with Yelp and Foursquare by presenting even more tailored content to the user. Unlike the other two websites, Facebook automatically has access to the user’s main Facebook account. This means the app can still target events, businesses and activities based on what details you have supplied to your main profile. For example, if you selected London as your current location in the main app, Facebook Local will automatically display local activities in London. They break this down even further based on specifics you have made about your location. For example, if you are enrolled in London South Bank University, they will display listings on the app that are situated in and around South Bank. They may also highlight listings such as nightclubs and bars since they consider Uni students will be interested in nightlife.
This algorithm presents its results in three dedicated sections of the app. In the first section, named ‘For you’, Facebook Local scrapes nearby popular events, for instance, what the user’s Facebook friends have said they’re attending. And as mentioned above, they will list popular events based on what data you have inputted into the main Facebook app.
The second section of Facebook Local is entitled ‘Events’. This category sorts local events by date and time. You can also see if your Facebook friends have publicised interest in this event.
‘Guides’ is the final section of the app. This sector niches down each event by their respective tags and categories. These include Arts and Culture, Games and Music, etc.
Facebook’s goal to expand into new areas continues to develop. Yelp and Foursquare have survived other competitors such as TripAdvisor, but now they face a new challenge from a much stronger opponent. But will Facebook’s new app flourish or flop like their previous Events app? Time alone will let us know.