Facebook has rolled out changes to the 'Nearby' tab on its mobile app, giving local businesses an even better chance of being discouvered by users on the move. There are over 600 million Facebook mobile users, so this change is particularly significant for bricks and mortar establishments.
Until now, the Nearby tab showed only where their Facebook friends had checked in. Now, in addition to that, users can see which businesses are nearby, ranked primarly by the recommendations of friends according to star ratings, check-ins, and Likes. If none of a users' friends have left their mark, then the ranking data will be pulled from non-friends who have engaged with that place.
Facebook mobile users can also now search for places by category - such as restaurants, coffee, nightlife, outdoors, arts, hotels, and shopping. Once they've found a suitable business, users can Like, chec-in, call, or get directions straight from the Nearby tab of the app. They'll also be able to share recommendations with their friends and the wider Facebook community - but only if they have legitimately checked in.
This update to the Facebook app for iPhone and Android makes it more important than ever for businesses to make sure they have a Facebook Page, and that the information on that page - address, store hours, contact details, etc. are all accurate. In addition, getting users to engage with your business on the app now has greater meaning, so encourage customers to check-in, like, and engage to help boost your rankings within the app.