Facebook Local Relaunches, Makes It Easier To Browse Events, Listings

Say goodbye to Facebook Events and hello to Facebook Local.

The social giant just relaunched the rebranded app, which features millions of business listings, reviews, recommendations and, yes, events.

Facebook unveiled its stand-alone Events app, late last year, as part of a broader effort to divide its features into distinct offerings.

As a separate app, Facebook has spent the past year fleshing out the service, and increasing user numbers. Among other uses, the app features events that have caught the attention of “friends,” recently announced events from Pages people that had “likes” previously, and updates from events with which they have already connected.

The app is also intended to make it easier for users to browse event recommendations based on their interests, as well as a time and location of their choosing.

In the process of planning future travels, people can also use the app to search for events in geographical areas of interest.

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Over the past year, Facebook has made clear its ambitions as a business directory.

Positioning itself directly against Yelp, Angie’s List and similar services, the company recently launched a site that endeavors to connect consumers with “local businesses and organizations with the best Facebook reviews and ratings.”

Dubbed Services, the site is actually an extension of Facebook’s flagship property, featuring a slew or professional services from plumbers to automotive to childcare. Service suggestions are geotargeted to users’ locations and feature customer reviews, a star-based rating system, and general business information.

Late last year, Facebook also relaunched its Places Directory, which is essentially a local search engine. Users can use the directory to find a “place” by location or another place name.

More recently, Facebook expanded its Notification system to include recommendations for nearby places to eat, movies playing in your area and local events.

Facebook also added new ways for customers to send private messages to Page owners, along with new tools for Page administrators to manage and respond to messages. With a new “Send Message” call-to-action button, for example, users can initiate private conversations with business Pages from News Feed ads.

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