Facebook's new updates cover events, dining, and a whole lot more.
Facebook's ability to be a one-stop resource expanded even further today as it released potentially huge two new features: the Facebook Local app, and Stories for Events. Facebook Local (which you can download now to try for yourself) seems like the bigger push into new territory—designed, according to the company, to help people "find more things to do with their communities like local events, restaurants, services, and other local businesses," all of which are "recommended by the people you know and trust," the standalone mobile app incorporates a combination of Yelp- and Foursquare-reminiscent features in Facebook-ified form.
A demonstration of Facebook Local hints that Facebook wants to become the first thing you look at when planning your day, whether you're getting up in the morning, or heading out late at night. Atop the app's interface sits your current location, the date, and a weather report, with a menu of buttons that will direct you nearby restaurants, cafes, drinks, and attractions, as well as tell you what friends are up to. The app also shows you events, some of which are "trending," with commentary by friends, and an integrated map to help you explore the area for things like food the same way Yelp does, and with the aid of friends' feedback.
The Facebook Local App (which replaces the company's Events app) can also be used to spot event-based dining like food festivals and restaurant pop-ups, which you might otherwise miss. And once you're at those events, Facebook also wants you to use the new Stories for Events feature, which lets you assign photos and videos to a specific event. Meaning your birthday party or LaborDayy cook-out will show up as a Facebook story the same way that an individual user's would—though only visible to the people attending or interested in the event.
While dedicated Yelpers probably won't jump ship, Facebook's new foray marks a sizeable new competitor—though when it comes to social media-vetted dining, it's doubtful even Facebook could get Anthony Bourdain on board.