Facebook’s Places Directory has actually been
A Quick Trip of Facebook Places
Even if you’re not logged in, you can still have access to Facebook Places. Just go to Facebook.com/places, type in the city or location you want to discover, or pick from their list below. You will then be taken to a ‘Things To Do’ page of the place; showing the number of Facebook Likes and Check-ins.
There are a good choice of restaurants, hotels, cafes, public attractions, arts and entertainment. But if you’re looking for more, they also offer information for gyms, movie theaters, schools, grocery stores, and landmarks. Each segment is divided into five tiles. If you’re logged in, Facebook can give you more relevant results by showing places and reviews by your friends first.
The layout is pretty straightforward: you will see names of the most famous places to visit in your location of choice, accompanied by an image (uploaded by a Facebook user), a short address, and a star rating. Hover over the photo and you will find contact details, such as phone numbers.
And way below all this is a map (powered by Bing) that shows nearby cities next to your selected location. We’re betting that this should entice you to begin your next adventure.
Should Google+ Local Be Scared?
Although it’s too early to tell, there’s good reason for Google to fear this competition. For one, Google+ Local cannot be accessed unless you’re logged in. Unlike Facebook Places where one can get a quick run-through of interesting attractions by just entering the name of a city; Google requires the user to type in something specific (like: restaurants, cafes, or bars) before showing results.
On the plus side: Google Local’s layout is more streamlined. On the left are a list of places to visit; along with their address, the type of venue (is it a hotel, bar, restaurant, etc.), contact detail, star rating, and a short of peek of the latest review. Hovering over the name will highlight a spot on the Google map just opposite that (on the right side of the window).
There is no filter function though. That means Google+ Local will simply show every venue of interest to the user. You can get specific directions thanks to their interactive map – but the overall feel is generic and distant.
Which Will Users Choose?
As mentioned, it’s still too early to tell. Plenty of sources suggest that a standalone app for Facebook Places is on the horizon – although the social media giant hasn’t given a comment on it yet. Not many users have been reported utilizing this feature as well; but those who are aware are excited. No surprise there: this gives them more insight as to what their friends have been up to.
It’s obvious that Facebook’s target has always been Local Searches. But as it’s closely tied with the social media aspect, it’s more enticing to users simply because it feels more personal. Imagine a huge roll-out in coming months (or years), with Facebook Places teaming up with payment solutions as well as local businesses. That would certainly make everything more convenient.
And that future is a lot closer than we think.
Images: ”KIEV, UKRAINE – MAY 25, 2014: A collection of well-known social media brands printed on paper and placed on plastic signs. Include Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram logos./ Shutterstock.com“
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