Facebook launched an update to their iOS and Android apps on Monday and with it, they launched a new feature that helps you discover new places that your friends like and that are close by.
The updated feature is called “Nearby” and you may have already noticed it in your app (and never actually used it before). Previously, you could view your friends who were near you. Now, you can use it to find businesses where your friends have visited (if they have checked-in), liked or recommended.
What does this mean for your business? It means you need to have a Facebook page with your correct address listed. Also, you should encourage your customers to check-in when they walk-in your door and encourage them to recommend your business on your Facebook page. The more people use this feature, the more likely your business will pop up when users open up their Facebook mobile app.
When a user clicks on your business, they are able to see which of their friends have visited the business, its rating, who has recommended it and the hours of operation. Users can also “like” the page, call the business, get directions within the app (provided by Apple’s Map app on iOS devices and Google Maps if they are on a Google device), and check-in.
Facebook says this is just the beginning of this service. They are looking to add third-party application support which means you will most likely see foursquare, Yelp and TripAdvisor be integrated into the app in the near future. They are also taking suggestions on how to make it better.