Facebook updates ‘Nearby’ feature with heavier social integration

facebook updates nearby feature

Facebook is preparing to launch an update for its iOS and Android mobile apps that ties it closer to location-based social apps such as Foursquare or Yelp.

The “Nearby” function, which was scheduled to be updated sometime on Monday, makes it even easier for users to discover places that their friends like or have been to. This feature can be accessed by tapping the top left icon or by sliding your screen to the right to access the sidebar menu. A few tabs down in the menu is the “Nearby” option, which currently shows which places your friends have checked in to.

The updated feature, however, adds new capabilities such as search by category, Facebook said in a statement on Monday.

“If you’re looking for a place to eat, choose a category like Restaurants to see what’s nearby,” the company wrote.  “When you find a place that looks interesting, tap to see info like friends who who’ve been there and business hours.”

Similar to Yelp, Facebook patrons can also write reviews and rate establishments based on their experience. These reviews will come up in search results, and Facebook has also bumped up the social features into its “Nearby” option.

“You’re suggestions become more personalized the more you and your friends rate, recommend, and check into places,” the website said in its announcement.

The app’s interface has also significantly changed. Rather than listing locations or businesses that you’ve already checked in at, the app pulls up a compilation of places that it thinks you would be interested in. Just like Facebook decides to rank news items in your main feed based on a variety of factors, it does the so with its “Nearby” recommendations engine.  This means that Facebook will make suggestions based on friends who have “Liked” a particular spot or have given it a star rating.

Facebook was sure to acknowledge that since these features are new, there is likely to be room for improvement. The app’s performance will develop as more people use it over time, Facebook said.

“Results will get better the more people use Nearby, and we’ll continue to improve it based on feedback,” the social media platform said. “We also plan to add places info from third party services in the near future.”

Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Product Review

It's not just light. Alienware's m15 is an entirely new breed of gaming laptop

Thin and light gaming is a new category of laptop, led by options like the Razer Blade. Alienware now has its own entry -- The Alienware m15. It’s not the thinnest, lightest, or sleekest option in the bunch, but it doesn’t hold back in…
Gaming

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Computing

Intel's discrete graphics will be called 'Xe,' IGP gets Adapative Sync next year

Intel has officially dubbed its discrete graphics product Intel Xe, and the company also provided details about its Gen11 IGP. The latter will include adaptive sync support and will arrive in 2019.
Mobile

Why Honor’s new screen is the hole-y grail in quest to ditch the notch

Honor will release a smartphone with an in-screen camera in the new year, a trend which is gathering momentum in the industry. Honor said it has cracked the formula, and explains what's special about its All-View Display.
Smart Home

These activists are hacking housing problems in NYC using apps and data

There are 1.2 million people living in "deficient" housing in New York City and now these coders are making easy-to-use, intuitive apps designed to give tenants a fighting chance against unscrupulous landlords.
Mobile

Google Assistant will alert you if it thinks your flight will be delayed

Google Assistant will soon be able to alert you if your flight is delayed. Using historical flight status data and machine learning, the service can even predict a flight delay before it's been officially confirmed.
Mobile

Forget 3 being a crowd, 4 is the magic number on the Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei's sequel to the P20 Pro, the P30 Pro, has already started to leak ahead of its 2019 announcement and release. The company is likely to improve even further on the P20 Pro's excellent camera.
Deals

Here are 19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…
Mobile

How to use Samsung’s Bixby assistant for all of your smartphone tasks

Samsung Bixby is a powerful tool, but not the most intuitive one we've encountered. Here's how to set up and use every feature of Samsung's digital assistant, as well as what to expect in the future.
Mobile

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

Microsoft patent filing shows wearable that mitigates involuntary movements

A patent application from Microsoft has shown the company is looking into using wearable technology to alleviate symptoms from various diseases and disorders that cause involuntary movements.
Mobile

AT&T makes 5G a reality for a dozen U.S. cities, with more to come in 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.