Facebook adds new travel planning feature called “City Guides”

Published on : Monday, March 6, 2017

facebookFacebook might be getting into the tourism market. It has been busy with the app updates, as of late. In recent months, it has added new sections for finding nearby Wi-Fi, meeting new people, checking the weather, and more. Now, it is rolling yet another addition to the “More” menu inside the Facebook app: City Guides.

 

This new feature will give you a list of suggestions of things to see and do in that city. And for users already concerned about privacy issues on social media, it is good to note that a big part of the algorithm will include lists of places you and your friends have frequented in each city.

 

Facebook has long allowed users to check-in via their status updates, but it hadn’t done much with that data, in terms of offering a consumer-facing feature to rival Foursquare. That’s been fairly surprising, given that asking friends for ideas of what to do in a new city seems like a perfect feature for a social network like Facebook.

 

According to the media reports, once a user is in the City Guides app and has selected a specific city, they’ll be able to see a list of profiles of friends who have visited that specified city. Presumably, this data is being collected from places people check in and likely from reviews they’ve posted. Which could mean that when you’re out and about with that annoying friend who tags you in every place you visit, that information could later play a role in informing data in the app.

 

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. These bookmarked items are available in a “Saved” section at the top of the city’s page. You can also save the city itself, to make a sort of bucket list of places you want to go.

 

Unfortunately, City Guides seems to only focus on major international cities, and not the small, out-of-way locales that are also popular destinations, like beachy islands, quaint resort towns, remote small towns, and more. It would be great to see this city guides feature expanded in the future so you could pull up any city in the world, no matter its size, and see what your friends did while there.

 

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