Facebook has become as essential a tool for businesses as it is for you and your friends, but now the company is doubling down on getting you to go to or buy from local stores, restaurants and events.
First up, the company is making it much easier to poll your friends for suggestions. Now if you write a post looking for advice, you’ll have the option to turn on a Recommendations feature, which embeds business information to comments, and maps out all your friends’ suggestions in one place. You can check out facebook.com/recommendations or the new recommendations bookmark for more information.Second, Facebook is building on its recently-released Events app to make it easier to discover cool things happening around you. Now you can easily view what activities your friends are participating in, and receive tailored recommendations depending based on what your friends are doing or events you’ve been to in the past.
Finally, you’ll no longer have to leave Facebook next time you want to order food or buy movie tickets. The company now allows you to place orders from “any restaurant’s Facebook Page that uses Delivery.com or Slice,” as well as buy movie tickets straight from their pages, via Fandango. You can also now book appointments for your local businesses – say, for a haircut or massage – or get a quote on prices, and the businesses will get back to you via Messenger.These are all welcome features; leveraging like-minded friends seems like an obvious way to get quality recommendations, and being able to interact with a business right on their Facebook page eliminates the extra steps of opening a separate app or website. But of course, for Facebook it means that you have one less reason to ever leave the social network.
The recommendations and business features are starting to roll out in the US today, and the changes to Events will arrive “in the coming weeks.