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Say “Hello” to Facebook

In a day and age where convenience is key and Facebook is at the forefront of everyone’s minds – the company seem to understand this need to be connected and have everything in one place to make things easily accessible where ever you are and are continuing to develop their ideas, the latest one being “Hello” – a new dialler/called ID app which also offers a search component for local business. The app was announced by the company yesterday, so although still only in its early stages, is looking promising.

The way it works is this; the app will identify callers connected to you on Facebook, I.e your Facebook friends and also allows users to block calls – like a normal calling system on a mobile phone. However, this app also contains, as mentioned, a local business searching component which is a new, interesting add-on which enhances the app and makes it stand out. And here’s why:

 

 Users can search for business by name

And if you don’t know the specific name, you can categorise, so by searching “plumbers”, the app will list all the local plumbers or “sushi” and it will list all the local sushi restaurants, take-aways etc. Due to the diverse range of Facebook contacts, plus local businesses which might be shutting down, or only just opening up which haven’t listed their business in directory yet, this element of the app can sometimes be unreliable.

 The businesses you do locate can be easily accessed from the app

You can call them directly from the app, add them to your contacts for another day or use Google maps to locate them and get directions. You can also search the Facebook page of the business, which leads you to the businesses reputation by their friends comments and reviews left by customers – giving you all the information you should need to know whether you want to go through and do business with them.

With the company receiving more than a billion mobile searches per day – which is hardly surprising considering the popularity of it – the app has potential to be successful. Late last year when the company updated Graph Search it failed to make local searching’s a strong element of the feature and with people constantly searching for local businesses on Facebook anyway, I’m unsure why they haven’t created a “Places App” to make this process easier.

Conclusion

What does this meant to marketers & advertisers? It become more critical to have the exposure in Facebook as they look into exploring more revenue to push up ways to capture even more market with more offering tight into their social network. Facebook advertising services play a larger part in times to come in the social media arena, as Facebook is looking to capitalize on their huge social media users to roll out even more channels and ways  to reach out to local businesses now with their introduction of “Hello” App.