What is it?
Nearby friends is a new feature that Facebook will be deploying in the coming weeks on both iphone and android (starting in the US) which enables users to share their location and get notified when their friends are nearby. The feature is optional, meaning that users can choose whether to reveal their location or not, and information is exchange only if both friends have activated the it.
What is it for?
The objective is to enable friends to meet up more easily and spontaneously. It is also a great way for users to see places that their friends have visited before or are visiting in real-time and it encourages users to recommend places to each other.
What does it change for my business?
For now, Facebook is not enabling Business pages to use nearby places but there are several actions you can take to make the most out of the new feature, so here are a few recommendations:
1. Make sure your business location information is complete and up-to-date!
You need to make your business easy to find and identify. When friends are in your business’ neighbourhood and decide to meet up, chances are they will choose a place that is easily accessible. Be that place.
2. Don’t hesitate to encourage your community to activate “nearby friends” when they are in your establishment and get them to use precise location!
Precise location enables users to give more detail about where they are (such as places names) and can give your business even more visibility. Boost your offline advertising encouraging your customers take action online because when they do, their friends (that also have nearby friends activated) will see that they are using your services and will be more inclined to join them.
3. Anticipate the possible uses of “Location history”!
“Location history” is automatically tracked on this feature and even though users have the option to delete that data, Facebook has explained that Nearby friends will not work entirely if the data is deactivated. Even though Facebook is not providing this data to businesses for targeted advertising yet, it has revealed to Techcrunch that it will be doing so in the future. Facebook has not given additional information about how they will do this, but it will most likely enable your business to conduct hyper-local targeted ads in the long run. Brace yourselves!
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