Here’s what you need to know:
Better Pages for businesses. Users will now be able to book appointments or make reservations at local restaurants right on pages. Facebook’s also aiming to make business pages more personal, foregrounding recent photos and adding Stories so that the business page can become its own human-interest hub. It’s a smart play that capitalizes on what makes local local.
Boosting Recommendations. Remember that bit up top about local event discovery on Google? Facebook knows its edge is that its users rely on it for tips and updates from people they actually know, and it’s taking advantage of that by putting its Recommendations feature front and center.
Building out Events. “Events that sell tickets directly on Facebook have seen two times more people getting tickets than when they’re ticketed on a website alone,” Facebook claims. Naturally, then, it’s creating a feature so that local vendors can sell tickets to their events right on an Event page.
Expanding Jobs. Facebook’s not just about looking for fun. The company is making its job tool a worldwide feature to connect users with job opportunities in their local communities.
Making Local its own thing. Facebook wants you to know that there’s a Local section right in your standard Facebook app as well as a standalone Local app. All the local features discussed in this post will be there for you to see.
A couple of months ago, our Local experts David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal examined Facebook’s perennially unfulfilled potential in local. Now that it’s supposedly prioritizing time well spent on the app, the social giant may just be getting serious about connecting local communities.
Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s managing editor. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa.