Facebook Jumps into Local Search

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 18 Dec, 2012

Facebook just took a giant leap into local search.

This is because the world's largest social network has updated the "Nearby" feature in the company's iOS and Android applications. The update makes it easier for users to discover places that their friends like while on the go.

To use the feature, users simply need to tap the Nearby tab on the vertical menu bar. The feature will then display local spots that friends have recommended, checked-in to or liked. Moreover, users can also filter results by categories, such as restaurants, hotels or shopping.

Upon checking-in to a location, users can share information about their experience by rating or recommending places. In fact, the more people rate, recommend and check-in to places, the more personalized suggestions become. This means that local businesses can move up in the search results with good ratings, frequent check-in activity and favorable recommendations from their customers.

Local business owners can ensure their brand shows up in Facebook's Nearby search results by maintaining a Page that includes updated location information, such as address, store hours, phone number and business details. Additionally, Page managers should make sure their business is listed under the correct category as well as encourage their fans to like, check into, rate and recommend their business.

It is also important to note, that according to a Facebook blog post, this is just the beginning of Nearby's new updates. In fact, the company plans to add information from third party services to the feature in the future.