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Facebook Adds 'Places' Directory: Yet Another Yelp Clone

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By William Peacock, Esq. on November 14, 2014 8:31 AM

There's Google My Business, a local directory that also has Google reviews baked in. There's Apple Maps Connect, which is its own local directory with ratings and reviews. And you know you need to keep your eye on Yelp, the mother of all review sites.

Now Facebook wants to join the party too! Introducing Facebook Places, another local directory that you might use some time when your Yelp app won't load. The Web-based service (it hasn't yet been baked into the mobile app) simply prompts you to "Discover great places in every city." Enter a location and wham, bam, boom: You get cool stuff to do, all with reviews by real Facebookers.

Again, it screams "Yelp competitor," and really, it is. And you need to keep your eye on it.

You'll Never Use This Thing

We kid a bit: This might be handy if your friends actively review businesses on Facebook -- you can trust them far more than a bunch of strangers, right? And indeed, the new feature comes as Facebook revamps local business pages to prioritize user reviews, reports Search Engine Land.

But really, it's a glorified clone of Yelp and every other review site in existence. It's almost certainly a move to push small businesses to advertise on Facebook, much like Yelp pushes people to do the same on their directory.

All Eyes On [My Firm]

But even if you don't want to use it, you'll probably want to keep an eye out in case your business pops up in their directory. After all, there's nothing quite as annoying as people talking trash behind your back. See all evil. Hear all evil.

Plus, there's that whole "customer service" thing: Responding kindly and appropriately to a bad review can sometimes turn the experience around. At a minimum, it'll show people reading the reviews that you are reasonable and care about client satisfaction.

And, if you do make sure that your firm shows up in Facebook Places, it might just come in handy if this thing does become popular.

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