Local search? Facebook is dominating that market, too.

As part of Facebook’s new and improved efforts in taking over the world as we know it (okay, maybe not quite), Facebook has added some major new features to their platform. Specifically, these updates aim to assist local businesses by improving the Facebook-integrated customer experience for local search.

Good for small businesses. Not so great for Google.

With these updates, Facebook is making it a heck of a lot easier for users to find and interact with local businesses. Moreover, users are able to do this without ever leaving the Facebook platform. This comes as a challenge to Google Local, or Google My Business. Facebook now makes it easy for businesses to set up an account on the platform that is searchable and viewable by potential customers.

A more integrated experience.

Facebook is surely increasing its reach into several different markets. They are making a clear and obvious effort in creating an integrated experience. An experience in which users can accomplish several things at once without ever clicking the home button to leave. In fact, with new features like local search and in-app purchasing, Facebook is becoming more like a daily companion or assistant than merely a social media platform.

Tackling local search.

For their mobile app, Facebook rolled out a few redesigns that are making it immensely easier for customers to directly interact with businesses. No longer will users only like or comment. Facebook is now allowing customers to book reservations, give recommendations, and even take advantage of special offers that the business can post.

Highlight on recommendations.

Facebook has taken the like button to a whole new level. They’ve done this by integrating a recommendations feature into the pages of local businesses. Through recommending a page, a post will be shared to the user’s wall and timeline – thus spreading word-of-mouth advertising. The user is saying, “not only do I like this business but in fact, I recommend it.” In the world of social media, this is a powerful tool. In addition, the cumulation of recommendations will show up on the business page as a rating out of 5. There will also be a list view of the recommendations that were given.

In-app ticket purchasing.

For businesses selling tickets, like concert venues or festivals, Facebook will now offer a feature in which users can directly purchase tickets through the app without having to follow a link externally. This will make it a much more streamlined process for users to see that their friend is going to a concert, click on the event, and purchase a ticket in a matter of seconds. This leads to more attendance, increased event revenue, and easier built-in advertising for the business.

Better business information.

Businesses can now update their Facebook page to include detailed information such as hours, price range, menus, and recent events or offers. Along with all of the other aforementioned updates, this new feature is the icing on the cake. (The cake being the user’s ease of remaining on the Facebook platform for all their needs. Every day. Forever.)

Check out the official press release regarding local search here.

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