Facebook Recommendations Is Here to Tell You What to Do IRL
I’m from the Philippines, which means that whenever someone I know is planning to visit Asia, they ping me on Facebook to ask what they should do. I offer a long list of suggestions, like visiting Palawan and Victoria Peak. Chances are, you provide your own vacation recommendations to people, not to mention tips on good bars, great hair salons, and so on. It’s a big part of social networks, and Mark Zuckerberg wants to make it even bigger part. If you send recommendations to someone, Facebook will compile them into a map for all your friends to see.
It’s just one tool Facebook unveiled today as it seeks to become a more transactional place by helping people decide what to do in the real world. The new Events tool will suggest upcoming activities, based on what’s popular with your friends or what you’ve done before. And it lets you order food, book appointments, buy tickets, and get quotes from businesses, usually by tapping services like Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, and delivery.com.
The tools are reminiscent of services Google, Apple, and others offer. Google, for example, can tap your Gmail to note trips across your calendar and provide maps. But Facebook taps your social network letting you make, or receive, suggestions. And as you trade suggestions, all of you can act on them—without leaving Facebook.
This is no small thing when you consider that one in four people worldwide uses Facebook, and so many of these billions are already trading suggestions in this way—naturally. Facebook is honing what already happens. Plus, it’s trying to tie itself more closely to local businesses. That’s good for you, because you can, say, book a restaurant with less friction. But it’s also good for Facebook. Close ties to businesses mean more ad revenue.
Indeed, this morning, the company also said that when you and your friends make recommendations, they can add direct links to business pages. For Facebook, everything is one virtuous circle of family, friends, business, and ad dollars.