The number of apps developed to help people find interesting things to do, find people to do things with, or just find a good place to eat is huge and growing. The latest to take a jab at this niche is Facebook. Fortunately the company hasn’t launched an app to achieve this purpose. Instead it’s made use of its existing web interface and its already rich database of places to help you find restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, public attractions, gyms, schools, theaters, and much more. A new dedicated page called Facebook Places has been launched. It asks you to enter a city and it will list all places, duly sorted into categories, for you to choose from.
Visit Facebook Places (linked at the end) and enter a city name. Facebook does not automatically assume you want to find something to do in your current city and I think that’s smart since you might be looking for things to do when you travel to a different city. If anything, it’s a pretty good tool to find a good restaurant in a new unfamiliar place.
The results show the highest rated places first but you can click the ‘See all’ option to view all places that fall into that category. You can use the categories at the top to scroll down to the type of place you’re looking for. Needless to say, the reviews and rating of any place will play a role in how the results are shown. Places that your friends have visited, or reviewed are given more visibility and you can read the review they’ve left.
Facebook Places is great for people who want to find a good place to eat and it’s also a pretty good incentive for business owners to want to get better reviews and ratings on their pages. Facebook has effectively turned its database of places into a mechanism for driving business and where end users will appreciate it as the modern yellow pages, business owners might see this as yet another algorithm they will want to/ have to rank well on. You can filter the results but the filter doesn’t include one for ratings which it should.