Facebook keeps it local

Posted on April 16, 2013

 

Facebook Nearby has been rebranded to Facebook Local Search, as the social networking giant aims to tap into the vibrant mobile market in a big way.

It is not the most exciting nor daring of changes that the company has ever made of course; it’s recent news feed update far more newsworthy, or so you would think.

It could actually hint towards quite an aggressive campaign though, which those working on search engine optimisation strategies could well do with keeping an eye on.

Finding more

Up until the end of last year, ‘Nearby’ was little more than a friend finding tool. Then it refreshed, to become a recommended local business finder.

However, for all its functionality it is barely used, and, even socnetphiles may not be aware of it completely. It is this lack of use that no doubt forced the recent changes. It should give the feature greater prominence and thereby drive greater use.

The thing is, there still seems to be a lack of marketing about it, which asks questions about whether it is really necessary. Indeed, you wonder whether the tool itself is superfluous.

Local leader

Facebook already enjoys its place amongst the most used mobile apps for local searches. It is second only to Google Maps, according to the most recent comScore backed study. Facebook has always seemed keen to take on google at its own game, so if it starts promoting the feature, Gmaps could well get a little lost.

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