Facebook Moving Into Local Commerce With OpenTable

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

facebook-taking-over-the-worldFacebook announced a new deal this week with OpenTable that is going to allow people to book reservations at restaurants from their Facebook mobile application on their smartphone.

Now when people go to a Facebook page for a restaurant, they will be able to book directly from that page without having to go to a different app. It is going to be available for all of the 20,000 restaurants on OpenTable in the US, Canada and Mexico.

The move puts Facebook in direct competition with Yelp, which also is integrating with OpenTable for restaurant reservations. If Facebook is able to build out more reviews to show you which of your friends ‘liked’ a restaurant, this could become serious competition to Yelp.

In another change, Facebook also is going to add TV listings to its mobile app. For TV shows and films that have a page on Facebook, the pages will show the next local time and TV station on which it is playing. The listings will be based upon different time zones. So, it will sort of be like a listing like TV Guide but on Facebook.

Both of these changes are going to provide users with better reasons to utlize Facebook . In the past, the Facebook pages for these entities were used to post status updates only. Or, they would just have static data about the business. With these new updates, Facebook is going to make the pages much more productive.

On the side for restaurants, this could be a first step into more bookings and local commerce for the companies. On the media side, listings for TV could be the first of many other listings, such as movies, concerts or shows.

Facebook going more into bookings also could better connect Facebook with small business, many of which have pages on the site but do not currently pay anything to Facebook to use them.

These new efforts by the social media giant are another good indicator that the company has figured out mobile social media. It also shows how Facebook has come up with yet another way to threaten a close competitor.

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