Facebook Helps Tourists With New 'City Guides'

Its new City Guides feature could be a sign that the social networking site is venturing into travel planning.

After tapping on a city, the app provides a list of friends who have been to the location along with the places they checked into while they were there.

There are of course many apps offering this kind of functionality, but the emphasis on checking out places recommended by friends, as well as meeting up with them at events, does give Facebook's approach an added appeal. The social media giant has introduced a new feature that aims to give users suggestions for events and places to visit in numerous cities across the globe. City Guides is located at the bottom of the list. It is also possible that when a user is visiting a new city, the city guide would know the location of the user and pop up accordingly. The city guide will also show you your friend profiles who have visited there.

In addition to summarizing collective data from your friends, the new tool will also work on a greater level in its "Places the Locals Go" feature, which will aggregate the general sentiment from user reviews of area hot spots.

Each item has a bookmark icon to the right, which lets you save the place to a list of favorites. You can also bookmark them as well. For now, this feature will be available with the information of major cities in a country and not the small towns and villages. If that happens, you could view any city regardless of its size and status.

Most of the venues that appear in Facebook's destination-oriented guides had messaging and calling features when you viewed them but for some, such as the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and the Eliot Hotel in Boston, users could tap a Book Now button in the Facebook app and make reservations directly with the hotel. "We're testing a redesigned surface on city Pages that showcases information about your city", a Facebook spokesperson further remarked. Now it can be seen more specifically on mobile phones. This feature is being tested on the Facebook app with a group of users, but has neither been publicly announced nor has it started officially rolling out globally.

  • Joanne Flowers