While many believe that both Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) and Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) are terribly inaccurate and even fraudulent, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is hoping that its users are looking for something new. When you use Facebook Pages, you begin by selecting a city that interests you. From there you will be sent to reviews and likes from other Facebook users, essentially building a TripAdvisor into its existing site.
Facebook Places Page: Search by city
The the primary Places page displays a number of cities at the bottom, users are able to search freely and once they do their results are separated into categories like: hotels, bars, arts, entertainment and restaurants. Additionally, “cities near by” are also included in search results.
If you, for example, were to type in Madison, Wisconsin in Places, it will give you a shortlist or restaurants, but allows for you to click “See All” you will get a more complete list of restaurants that includes comments and likes from your friends if there are any.
No Yelp challenge…yet
While a long way from challenging Yelp, especially given Yelp’s considerably more rounded mobile app that allows you to discover based on location and other criteria, Places does give you the advantage of seeing your friends feelings first rather than just the reviews of strangers.
“Facebook Places is a page that allows you to search for publicly-available info about cities, even if you are not logged in,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “Results will include publicly shared photos, reviews and posts on Facebook to help you find popular places to visit. Results will be customized for people who are logged in to include posts that they are in the audience for.”
Expect Places to evolve as it is quietly rolled-out and used by more and more people. Facebook wants you to spend more time on its site and remember that in addition to the sharing of pornography, the Internet was largely built as a way for people to complain (or rave). With over a billion users, Places could grow quickly.