Google is the new Yellow Pages. And now, Facebook wants a piece of the pie as well. This September, the company announced several new features to their Instagram, WhatsApp and (of course) Facebook app. If at least 2 of them succeed, we can safely assume that Facebook will become a viable Yellow Pages alternative for the web. Here are the 3 updates:
They’re currently testing it in Australia and New Zealand. This tool will enable users to discover real businesses on a map inside the Instagram app. Instagram users will also be able to see people who tagged themselves at that particular location.
Here’s how this feature looks:
Currently they’re testing it in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Similarly to the Instagram tool, this will allow you to find businesses nearby:
In a series of announcements, Facebook also said they’ll be expanding their “Facebook Business Explore” tool to people in the US and Australia, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
How "Business Explore" works: Let’s say you scroll down your Facebook feed and see a post by a restaurant. If you keep your attention there for several seconds, Facebook will show you a new section under the post called “Explore more”. This section will show similar businesses to the one you’re currently viewing. See the video on this post to get a better idea.
The opportunities for founders: Many of us have products that target local businesses. Some of us even have local businesses. If Facebook succeeds with these experiments (and it seems they’re very determined to do it), it’ll become a pretty major acquisition channel and a source for new customers for businesses with physical location.
In addition, this will create new software opportunities for indie founders; just look at the “for local business” SaaS products that exist; it’s a multi-million dollar market.
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