New City Guides by Facebook Can Boost Contextual Recommendations

March 6th, 2017 by | No Comments

Image by TechCrunch


To better utilize its vast data insights and improve users’ personal recommendations, Facebook is set to roll out a new feature called City Guides, a friend-sourced tourism listing for popular locations around the world.

City Guides—which can be accessed from Facebook‘s hamburger menu—offers a list of major cities and shows users the people in their network who have been to each. Accessing the City tab lets users click on the profile image bubbles of their friends to view the places they visited, which are determined by check-ins and location services information by Facebook.

City Guides was first seen in testing last year and only now appears to be getting a broader roll out, so it may take some time to become available to all Facebook users. The feature aims to build on social network’s efforts to utilize users’ social graphs to improve the relevance and value of recommendations.

Last year, Facebook released a similar tool called Recommendations, which enables users to post queries and have these highlighted to friends for advice. The logic behind contextual recommendation tools like Recommendations and City Guides is that Facebook users trust their friends’ suggestions more than review sites and marketing materials, and facilitating such connections is what the social network can do better than anyone else. If Facebook can provide better tools, users are more likely to come back to utilize the site for such insights more often, thus boosting engagement.

On the social media marketing front, there’s obviously no immediate way to influence or control the recommendations listed in City Guides, though it may inspire local businesses to ramp up their efforts in order to increase visitor check-ins and recommendations. If business owners can get more Facebook users to post about their business, that’ll increase their chances of showing up on a City Guide listing—it’s subtler and more indirect, but if the option becomes popular and widely used, the benefits could be well worth the effort.

Either way, City Guides is another innovative use of Facebook data which points to the way the site is looking to expand on its personalized recommendations and social graph insights to improve search results. If successful, it could be another significant way for Facebook to become a bigger part of users’ interactive process.

About the author:
Jehan Ismael is a full-time writer and editor for a leading digital marketing firm. She has a love-hate relationship with food, likes to listen to rock and rap music, and enjoys reading books by self-absorbed writers like J.D. Salinger and Anthony Bourdain.

Tags: , , , ,


Contact us for Free Analysis