A Replacement For The Events App
Facebook is rebranding its Events app as “Facebook Local”, which will help users find activities based on friends’ advice as well as info on Facebook business pages and their reviews, all by people you know and trust.
Launched this week on Android and iOS in the US only, another goal of the app is to make it easier to find out what location or event your connections are interested in attending.
Facebook introduced the Events app just last year as a way to combine a calendar with happenings going on around town, but it wasn’t a big hit. So they are giving it another shot, and it goes right along with a statement made by Mark Zuckerberg in February of this year: “Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community.”
This new app is similar to Yelp and Foursquare, and since it is completely separate from the original Facebook app, you won’t be distracted by all of the images and videos on your timeline.
Navigating The New App
At the bottom of the screen, there are three icons:
- Map and search engine
The home screen offers three tabs:
- For You
Within each tab is a ton of links for ways to search. This post offers more detail on these sections:
The Local app is divided into three sections. The home screen offers quick searches for restaurants or drinks, plus a running list of events happening nearby that you might be interested in. (Mine’s currently enticing me to head to an Elf On The Shelf Scavenger Hunt, a Holiday Bubbly Walk, and a tree lighting. Happy holidays, everybody!) You can also see which events your friends have expressed interest in, in case you want to tag along.
The second section is just a map and a search engine. You can search for “coffee” or “Thai food,” sort by “open now,” a lot like Yelp. At a quick glance, it’s not quite as complete a database as Yelp’s, nor does it have as many reviews or ratings, but it’s a pretty useful tool. Where Facebook starts to differentiate is by letting you search “comedy” and “literature,” and sort by “late night,” to find something to do after dinner. Places plus events makes perfect sense, and nobody has both as completely as Facebook. The third tab is just your calendar, initially populated by Facebook events you’ve responded to but also including whatever calendars you want to give it access to. It’s a shockingly nice calendar app, actually.
See more here: Facebook Local Might Be the Only Facebook App You Need
See For Yourself
To give you a quick tour of what the app looks like, I created the following video. I typed in my hometown. It a quiet little place in Colorado, but it populated plenty of upcoming events and places to go.
The Facebook Local app shows the local weather at the top and as mentioned in the previous post, there is a calendar link that allows you to schedule upcoming activities, invite friends, and share it to your feed.
Some people are a little perplexed as to why Facebook chose to make it a standalone app as opposed to integrating the information into the main Facebook app. I personally appreciate the escape from all the noise happening on my Facebook timeline, allowing me to focus only on events and places.
As previously mentioned, Facebook’s main app is saturated with so much information, images, and videos that it is almost difficult to navigate. This does simplify searching for events to attend and places to go.
According to The Verge, the local product manager for Facebook, Aditya Koolwal, said in a statement, “The new app, Facebook Local, helps you easily find what to do, where to go, where to eat, or what you need — all recommended by the people you know and trust, ”
The question of how and when Facebook will monetize the new app remains to be seen, but since it is set up for people searching for local businesses on their mobile device, it is a given that there will be competition for attention in the advertising space.