Facebook has updated its Nearby feature for its iOS and Android apps helping to make it easier for you to find new places based on what your friends like. It will be rolling out later today and enables users to not only discover, but share their favorites with people they’re connected to.
Prior to today, those who looked on Facebook’s mobile app saw that Nearby just told you who was around you. It was pretty simple, almost like what you would get with the early days of Foursquare, Highlight, Banjo, and other location-based services. The company decided to expand upon using the massive amounts of data it had on hand from people checking-in, what they are Liking, tagging, and sharing — thus the Nearby update today.
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Facebook has over 600 million monthly users that take advantage of its mobile apps. Location has definitely been something that is of interest to the company — after all, it purchased Gowalla late last year and in November began testing a new service with local businesses to offer free WiFi in exchange for customers checking in on Facebook.
Those that receive the updated Nearby feature will be able to do two main things: find new places and share them. To discover new places, users can open the tab in the app menu to find local spots recommended by their friends. It’s also not limited to recommendations, but includes check-ins and Likes. Anyone can choose a category to find what’s nearby and once an establishment has been found, tap on it to find out information about the place, which friends have been there, and its hours of operations.
But what can you do after discovering? If the experience has been good or bad, wouldn’t it be great to share it with your friends? Naturally, sharing is caring, so Facebook is fostering this by allowing users to rate and share their recommendations to their friends. The feedback has the potential to lead to a wide range of people reading it and could influence the success of the business.
Nearby is being rolled out later today, which means that not everyone is going to get it at the same time. It’s available for iPhone and Android devices.
Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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