My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Facebook relaunches Facebook Places – Return of Facebook Places heralds Yelp and TripAdisvor Killer putting Foursquare-Instagram LBS deal in Jeopardy

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Facebook relaunches Facebook Places – Return of Facebook Places heralds Yelp and TripAdisvor Killer putting Foursquare-Instagram LBS deal in Jeopardy

“Facebook Places is a page that allows you to search for publicly-available info about cities, even if you are not logged in. Results will include publicly shared photos, reviews and posts on Facebook to help you find popular places to visit. Results will be customized for people who are logged in to include posts that they are in the audience for”

Facebook spokesperson explaining to CNET News what Facebook Places is all about

Foursquare isn’t the only company gunning after Yelp’s crowd with their relaunched Foursquare App as explained in my blog article entitled “Foursquare splits into Foursquare and Swarm - Twitter-eqsue Restaurant Recommendations while Tracking Friend's Feeds and Plans as the Real Beat Comes Alive”.

Facebook has now relaunched Facebook Places Page that allows you to search Facebook for Restaurants and Bars and great places to hang out located in Cities all around the world as reported in the article “Facebook’s new Places page treads on Yelp's turf”, published November 13, 2014 7:49 AM PST by Lance Whitney, CNET News.

Apparently it draws on the analytical power of Facebook Open Graph that they rolled out back in 2012 as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “Facebook to introduce #Hashtags with emoticons, monetizing FB and making Open Graph Search Practical” to determine which places are most popular dependent on the traffic data for the official Business Facebook Pages.

It's really more of a Browser tool than a Search engine, in that case, and it’s quite useful, albeit under populated, listing some of the Major cities around the world but not all of the hidden gems you'd know if you travelled on foot.

When I entered “Kingston” as a search term, it oddly redirected me to “Kingston, Jamaica” instead gave me New Kingston and even suggested Vineyard Town, Trench Town, Rollington Town and Norman Gardens as potential hotspots. Oddly, no Major tourist town are listed, or even Montego Bay, Jamaica’s Second City!

Apparently Facebook Places Page has got a little Grassroots and Street Cred in their search results, making me like it more despite the sparseness of the listing as not every Jamaicans’ Restaurant or Bar has a Facebook Page.

Still, it found most of the Facebook Pages of the places I knew, making it really more of a tool for Tourists and not for Jamaicans who know great places to eat. After all, most Jamaican who eat out don't waste much time taking pictures and making comments on the Social Media pages of these Restaurants as we might not known if one exists, or even bother to search.

Facebook Places Page is just a collection of as many pages that exists of Business in cities around the World based on the location data that has accumulated over the last three (3) years.

That’s is, since their first attempt at beating Foursquare and becoming Yelp back in August 2010 as chronicled in the article “Facebook unveils location-sharing feature 'Places'”, published August 18, 2010 5:03 PM PDT by Josh Lowensohn, CNET News.

History lesson time, dear reader…..

Facebook relaunches Facebook Places – Foursquare-Instagram LBS deal in Jeopardy with Return of Places

Since March 2014 Facebook appeared to be making plans to power the “name this location” button with searches from their recently relaunched Facebook Places Page as stated in the article “Facebook Places Replaces Foursquare in Instagram Test”, published MARCH 27, 2014 02:33PM EST BY DAVID MURPHY, PC Magazine.

Foursquare is still vulnerable, as they only have some 45 million subscribers, despite this being just a test runs noted in CNET's article “Instagram test locates you without Foursquare”, published March 25, 2014 10:59 AM PDT by Jennifer Van Grove, CNET News.

Foursquare Location Database powers Facebook owned Instagram, which has some 200 million subscriber. That's a significant amount of revenue to lose, especially as via the interaction with Facebook's Instagram subscribers, they have a better idea of popular venues that users frequent, valuable data for their newly minted Foursquare App.

Currently, Foursquare database will name the place at which you took the photograph in Instagram. If Facebook switches back to Places, which Foursquare competition killed off back in August 2011 as stated in the article entitled “Foursquare wins major victory with death of Facebook Places”, published August 23, 2011 3:44 PM by Sean Ludwig, VentureBeat then we may be seeing Facebook attempt to clone Foursquare once more.

It may, to some extent, hurt their partnerships with other companies that license Location Data from them, such as Microsoft, who in January signed a US$15 million deal to utilize their Location Databases in their Bing Searches as well as augment their Windows Phone Operating System as reported in the article “Microsoft Invests $15M in Foursquare Location Data”, published  FEBRUARY 4, 2014 03:38PM EST  BY STEPHANIE MLOT, PCMagazine.

Now that Facebook Places Page is alive and well again, it’s only a matter of time before they integrate it into Instagram and then filter it down into their various Apps such as Facebook's Nearby Friends App launched earlier in May 2014 as described in my blog article entitled “Facebook launches Nearby Friends feature - WhatsApp VoIP and Oculus Rift VR Wearable Computing Takes flight as FB look towards the Future in the Year of the Horse”.

Still if you’re a travelling to Jamaica for the first time, it’ll be great if you could visit eateries in Rollington Town or Vineyard Town and not just New Kingston or even Port Royal!

Here’s the link:

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