Facebook On Mobile Just Got A Lot Tastier
If you’re like the majority of Facebook users, you don’t visit mobile restaurant pages on Facebook very often.
Facebook is hoping to change that with its announcement that users will be able to reserve tables on more than 20,000 mobile restaurant pages via a partnership with OpenTable.
A user will see a reservation option like the below when they visit a page. So when a person makes a reservation at their local B.J.’s, they are also able to share their excitement of getting a Pizookie later with their Facebook friends.
It’s not just for the out and about – Facebook has expanded functionality to those who want to sit on their couch in front of the TV too. iOS users will also be able to get local TV listings by visiting a show or movie’s Facebook page through a partnership with Rovi. That means if someone wants to head to the page for The Bridge on FX, they will see that the next episode is on Wednesday, find out the specific airing hour in their time zone and get a description of what the episode is about. Here’s what that will look like:
A few thoughts on what all of this means for Facebook, brands and users:
1. Mobile pages will be more functional.
Facebook is obviously trying to give people more of a reason to actually visit brand pages on mobile with this update and the mobile redesign it implemented in April. Making a reservation is just another useful button in addition to the Like, Check-In, Call and Map features that were put at the forefront of the mobile page recently.
2. Facebook wants to stay inside its app for everything.
Forever and ever and ever.
And this is possible through its API, which will allow a user to book a reservation without having an OpenTable account. Yelp, Foursquare and Evernote have similar capabilities, but don’t have an 800-million plus mobile user base like Facebook does.
3. Facebook wants to put pressure on Yelp, Foursquare and Google.
Users generally turn to one of these tools as they are trying to discover new restaurants or make reservations.
But if users can search for new restaurants and make reservations at them inside Facebook, where they are already spending time checking their NewsFeed, adding photos and updating their status, it could mean that Facebook snags the majority of mobile restaurant discovery and bookings. Which of course means…
4. Restaurants will consider moving ad dollars to Facebook.
If people are using their Facebook app for reservations, that also means they are probably going to spend more time in their Facebook app.
This means more time to see mobile ads, and you can be sure Facebook will assist restaurants with hyper-targeting food connoisseurs in appropriate areas or perhaps even developing a capability to serve ads to people making reservations on a regular basis.
5. There is the potential for additional ad spends from entertainment properties as well.
If networks can make a correlation between increased engagement on their Facebook page during airing and increased ratings, it could convince them to pump more into their promoted posts on mobile at appropriate times.
Of course, there are a few things that bear careful watching.
As Tech Crunch notes, mobile pages are still difficult to find and most people are already trained to use Yelp, Google or other apps when looking for dinner and TV listings. Open Table is also not available globally, so it will be interesting to see how many restaurant pages Facebook will be able to offer this capability for.
But as it stands now, we can presumably look forward to even more cute status updates about date nights. Can’t wait.