Should Yelp get worried? Facebook announced this week that they have come with a relaunch of their previous standalone application Facebook Events. Never even heard of it? Neither did a gross of the Facebook users. The application, that would inform users about upcoming events nearby, has never been a great success. Therefore, Facebook decided to give it another go and rebranded the application as ‘Facebook Local’, which like it’s ancestor shows you things to do around your location, however, it’s not just tied to events. Indeed, the main and important difference is that Facebook Local works like a map, which shows any type of local business, event, bar, restaurant and all the other things people might look for. In this sense, Facebook Local should be seen as a map which guides people through cities as they stroll around. It’s therefore seen as a direct competitor to Yelp which provided similar information.
Users can download the application in the iOS or Play store and use it just like any map. Many users already used the integrated local features so question marks are placed as to why people need another app for it? Already, people who use the Facebook App on their phone who like to use the Facebook Messenger function (Facebook forces you to download it as the messenger function does not work on mobile otherwise)
Facebook “Local Product Manager Aditya Koolwal told TechCrunch that the goal of the product is to basically make it easier to quickly look up information when making plans with friends”.
Still, the information is also available in-app: the ‘nearby’ tab got replaced by a ‘Local’ tab. It’s less fiercely promoted than the application, however.
It will be interesting to see how the adoption will grow as the app already has fallen under scrutiny since many people already have multiple applications, such as Yelp. There must be something under the caveat for Facebook: they’d love to extend and broaden their userbase by letting them use another app. But will they?