Facebook on Friday launched a new app, Facebook Local. It gives users a single place to find restaurants, bars, cafes and nearby activities but also folds in friends' reviews of the places they might want to go.There are actually multiple things happening in the app. First, users can search for places and happenings, including events your friends might be attending.
There's also an Event section that shows nearby events. These can be filtered by time, category and location.
Another tab shows users' Facebook events, and gives them the option of pulling their other calendars into the app as well.
The app is a re-branded and expanded version of Facebook Events, which was launched a year ago.
The new app's power and potential scale comes from the company's 70 million business pages, hyper-localized because it also includes reviews, photos and locations shared from friends' check-ins.
Given that people post about where they've been and what they thought of it as a matter of course on Facebook, this could make it a strong contender in a way that Events was not.
How much a threat this could be to Yelp isn't clear yet, but it's another step towards further tying users into Facebook's ecosystem. And for now, at least, it's advertising free.
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