One year after launching the standalone "Events" app for iOS and Android devices, Facebook today announced a rebranding and relaunch of the app that will also bring bars, restaurants, and nearby attractions to your attention. Now called "Local from Facebook," or simply "Facebook Local," the app combines your Facebook events with nearby hotspots into a single app, which is powered by the company's 70 million business Pages as well as your own friends and family members' personal reviews (via TechCrunch).
The app's home page includes shortcuts to show you nearby restaurants, cafes, drink spots, attractions, and more, as well as a guide to where your friends visit often. The original app's calendar of your Events is located here, as well as a Trending Events section, guides to music, nightlife, and other notable happenings, and filters to see all events occurring on specific days.
Facebook Local can sync with your iPhone's Calendar app to combine all of your plans into one area, and the new app also allows you to update your current city if you're traveling. Facebook's recent Order Food feature isn't implemented into Local, but Pages for certain restaurants sometimes include a link to other delivery apps like Grubhub.
According to Facebook Local product manager Aditya Koolwal, all of these features are meant to further Facebook's new mission of "bringing the world closer together."
Facebook Local product manager Aditya Koolwal tells me the goal was to “Make it as lot easier to do certain kind of looks ups that are very common when making plans with friends.”
Facebook’s new mission is “Bringing the world closer together” and few things do that as vividly as nightlife. The company is often criticized for supposedly isolating people, but there’s no replacement for Facebook Events. When I hear people considering deleting their Facebook account, it’s often Events that they stay for. By bundling these with local business listings, Facebook could finally give Events the spotlight they deserve.
Before Facebook Local, the company just yesterday expanded Marketplace to include apartment rentals, and previously launched car listings in October. In terms of standalone apps, in August Facebook shuttered the Groups and Lifestage apps, specifically stating that Groups was returning to be a focus of the main Facebook app and the social network's website.
You can download Local from Facebook on the iOS App Store for free today. [Direct Link]