Last year, Facebook launched Events as a standalone app to help you find something to do. It wasn't exactly a runaway hit; you'd be forgiven if you'd never even heard of it. That's why it's not surprising that Facebook has relaunched the app as "Facebook Local," with an emphasis on finding restaurants, bars and local businesses. It appears to be a direct competitor for Yelp. You can download it now for iOS and Android.
While plenty of people use Facebook's integrated local features, including business reviews, it's not clear why it needs to be spun out into a separate app. Facebook Local Product Manager Aditya Koolwal told TechCrunch that the goal of the product is to basically make it easier to quickly look up information when making plans with friends.
However, the information is still available within Facebook itself -- the "Nearby" tab is being rebranded as "Local." It's not clear what would attract people to Facebook Local from the apps they already use, such as Yelp, but having such a broad user base is a constant advantage for the social network. Time will tell how the company chooses to develop the service going forward.
- This article originally appeared on Engadget.