Facebook is making it easier for users to get recommendations from friends and to interact with local businesses, without the need to leave the social network.
These changes have already come into effect and now Facebook allows people to poll friends to get suggestions for restaurants to go to, recommendations on places to visit and recommendations for trustworthy businesses. These are then placed onto a map with direct links to the businesses’ individual pages and there’s even the option to purchase directly from these companies.Facebook Users Get to Poll Friends for Local Recommendations
Apparently, Facebook is trying to fix a common problem, where smartphones know a lot about people’s preferences and habits but are failing to use that information in useful ways. The article in the verge.com cites the example of a favorite band playing locally, but fans being completely unaware of the fact. With this new upgrade, the idea is that this would never happen and to solve this problem Facebook is utilizing user’s friend's list. By allowing users to tap into social recommendations, the hope is to change Internet behavior. Many of us when searching for a product or for somewhere to go will rely on online reviews. Facebook thinks it would be better to leverage the power of a friend’s opinions rather than relying on algorithmic tools or complete strangers reviews.
As the article points out, it’s a very powerful yet subtle way to keep people using Facebook’s app on their mobile phone. If Facebook is able to change the behavior of smartphone owners by giving them an alternative to a standard Google search, this will help to improve its business. Its argument is very straightforward, in that, a friend will have more trustworthy information about which product by or which concert to go to.
The goal is for the whole process to be streamlined from start to finish, so users would be able to ask for recommendations for a restaurant and to view them on a map. From there they would be able to book a table or order take-out from within the mobile app. In order to facilitate this, Facebook is now allowing businesses to sell products and services.
It all sounds like a great idea, but it could become an issue if only certain businesses and services choose to begin using this new feature. Additionally people need to behave in the way Facebook is predicting and this will depend on how well their app performs.
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