Facebook recently changed its Nearby button, which is a feature of the social media giant’s free apps for both iPhones and Android wireless devices. Groupon also introduced a Nearby feature in its free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
When you get to a destination, you can use Nearby on Facebook to look for coffee, dining, nightlife, outdoor fun, hotels, restaurants and more that are in your area. Before the new update, Facebook Nearby just let you look at these attractions in a single list. It mixed in bookstores and restaurants together within a few miles of your location. You could learn about the basic amenities of each business and how many ‘likes’ they had. You also could read posts about the business and which of your friends on Facebook had used it.
You can still do this with Facebook Nearby. But now you can also search for all of those different businesses and activities in the categories mentioned above. This is convenient if you are intent upon finding a certain restaurant or art gallery within walking distance. This updated feature works the best for users when the business actually has a Facebook page. It will provide better descriptions of amenities, for example.
Overall, Facebook Nearby is great if you are out on the town. It gives you an easy guide to places of interest near you. Combined with Facebook’s new efforts to get the credit card details of users, Facebook looks to become more dominant than ever.
On the other hand, the Nearby feature for Groupon is more geared towards deals, and not so much for travelers. Groupon Nearby lets you search for all of the deals within a few miles of you, and also food/drink, events, activities, health, fitness and shopping, among others. You also can search for subsets in each category, and drill down in events and activities to look for tours and attractions.
Overall, Groupon Nearby is not as oriented to travelers because some of the businesses they list require reservations. It’s a good app for people looking for a bargain, however.
So, Facebook continues to put the heat on its competitors, and usually comes out on top.