Facebook has announced new ways for customers to find and interact with local businesses with improvements rolling out to Pages, and expanding Events and Jobs. The change seems to be posing a serious challenge to Google Local as they empowering Facebook transitioning toward becoming a tool that’s useful in every day’s life.
Here’s how Facebook describes its new local-centric features:
Making Recommendations More Prominent
Facebook is making it easier for people to be able to recommend a business by adding text, photos, and tags directly on Pages. Also, Recommendations will let a business to reach people while they’re searching or talking about them. This seems to be an important aspects of a Facebook Local Page.
A screenshot below shows recommendation on Pages:
Here is a video demonstrating how recommendations works on Pages:
Job Application Tool Goes Global
Facebook’s job application tool is now to more local businesses to be able to hire people as it expands to all people and businesses across the world in over next few months.
This update make it simple for users to see a business story by tapping on the Page profile photo.
Customized Business Information
Facebook is letting businesses to add more useful and important information more prominently about their business on their Pages, such as hours, price range, recommendations or a restaurant menu .
Facebook says, for restaurants and services their new content, such as most recent Events and Offers will get highlighted.
A new Local section in Facebook mobile app is added so users can easily discover local businesses and events through Facebook’s mobile app.
New tools to help manage your time on including a new activity dashboard, a daily reminder and a new way to limit notifications was recently launched on Facebook and Instagram.
The tools are accessible from the settings page — On Instagram tap “Your Activity,” and on Facebook, tap “Your Time on Facebook.”
Once there, a dashboard at the top will show the average time for the app on a device you are working. Tapping on any bar will show total time for that day. You can also set a daily reminder to alert you after you’ve reached the amount of time you have setted up for that app for the day. These reminders can be change or cancel at any time.
Here is a screenshot of Your Time on Facebook and Instagram:
And, a tap on “Notification Settings” will take you to the new “Mute Push Notifications” setting that let you limit notifications for a period of time on both apps.
Additional tools that were announced in December 2017 get improvements, like On Facebook, News Feed now show the most relevant posts with features, like See First, Hide, Unfollow, and Keyword Snooze. And, on Instagram, tools like “You’re All Caught Up” message in Feed, keyword filtering, sensitivity screens, and offensive comment and bullying filters are now available.
In addition, Facebook is collaborating with mental health organizations such as Save.org for suicide prevention, partnered with Scholastic and Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to develop and launch “Best Selves” social and emotional learning curriculum.
These updates are rolling out on Facebook and Instagram soon.
Watch Party Around the World
A new way enabling people to watch videos together in real-time is launched globally on Facebook Groups. Once a Watch Party is started, “participants can watch videos, live or recorded, and interact with one another around them in the same moment,” Facebook says.
Additionally, Facebook has also begun testing another ability that let people Watch Parties with friends outside of groups. And, in future plans to explore Watch Parties for Pages, too.
Key features of Watch Party in Groups, include:
- Co-hosting, that let the host of a Watch Party designate other co-hosts enabling them to add videos and keep the party going.
- Crowdsourcing let anyone in a Watch Party suggest videos for the host to add to the Watch Party.
To learn more Watch Party, watch the video embedded below:
Mentors and Mentees in Groups
Mentorship to Groups is now available to people within select groups focused on parenting, professional and personal development.
People with age 18 or above can use Mentorship. All communications between a mentor and mentee is only visible to the pair.
Here’s how it works?
- Group admins create a mentorship program. Admins can choose from a variety of template programs, such as career advancement, skill development, or encouragement and support, and select the one that best fits their community’s needs.
- People sign up and are matched with their mentor/ mentee: Group members can sign up to be a mentor or a mentee, then the group admin will pair people together.
- Pairs are introduced. Pairs can get to know each other and work through program steps in their one-on-one mentorship program on Facebook. They can share and comment on posts there or communicate through Messenger.
- Mentors and mentees get step-by-step guidance. The pairs progress through a guided program that encourages them to check in with each other weekly.
A screenshot below shows mentor and mentee in Groups:
People can report issues as they have access to the same reporting and blocking features available elsewhere on Facebook.
Video Chat AR Games in Messenger
For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Facebook is making Messenger video chat even more fun with the addition of new “multiplayer video chat AR games.”
The feature makes gaming much more interactive and social and let you play with up to six people at a time.
To try it out, make sure to have latest version of Messenger, then open an existing conversation or find the person or group of people you’d like to chat with and tap the video icon on the upper right corner of the screen. Then simply tap the star button and select one of the AR games – the person or group you are video chatting with will get a notification indicating it’s time to get your game on.
It can be played on two games “Don’t Smile”, or with “Asteroids Attack.” Facebook says, more games including “Beach Bump” , and “Kitten Kraze” will make their way in coming weeks and month.