With so many competitors popping up everywhere, firms are forced one of two ways; either towards a niche market or aiming for total availability and a vast product selection. Facebook is doing the latter as its new service ‘Facebook Nearby’ incorporates the concept of existing businesses like Yelp and Foresquare- threatening their existence.
Facebook first attempted to widen its service horizon with a feature called ‘Places’. On this feature, users could tag the place they are in, for example if they were on Oxford Street, in London, they could choose to show this in their status update. In 2011, Facebook scrapped this feature.
The main difference between the original ‘Places’ service, and the newly released ‘Nearby’ is who it’s predominantly benefiting. Facebook have two main clienteles- the individual users, and the organisations which use it for marketing and support. The profit for Facebook comes from the organisations, as they are the ones who will potentially pay to market on the website- therefore Facebook have made this new service organisation orientated.
The updated Facebook ‘Nearby’ service was launched on the 4th of January and is now available on both Android and iOS phones, increasing its user access rates. The service allows the user to see where their friends have ‘checked in’, see which business or restaurants are in their area and see and make recommendations for them. The advantages for local businesses are evident as this service provides a platform for customer interactions marketing. This service also works as incentive for local businesses to create a Facebook page as the link on the user’s post or on friends’ recommendations can direct them straight to the business’s Facebook page- thus creating more interest.