The Facebook team, who has been incredibly prolific recently, comes up with a new solution for all you travelers out there. The latest addition to the “More” menu of the app is called “City Guides” and the name says it all. The new feature aggregates travel info and recommendations from your friends making travel-planning much easier.
How does it work?
Essentially “City Guides” work like your traditional travel planning app but with a more personal approach. Imagine you are going to a new city but one of your friends has already been there. What can be more natural than asking that friend for an advice? What if I told you the advice is already there?! For years Facebook has been collecting data from the users’ posts and check-ins at hotels, restaurants and other places of interest through their status updates with seemingly no use. The new feature takes that data and presents it in a neat and easy to use design. Just open the “Guides” and search for the city you are planning to visit. Right down each entry you’ll find round profile icons of your friends who have already been there. Tap on each icon to see what interesting spots they have discovered and what they have to say about these places. It’s as easy as that!
Swipe down the guide and you’ll see ‘Upcoming events’ – a list of concerts, fairs and exhibitions that you can browse through. Right below is a list of ‘Popular Attractions’ which neatly organizes main tourist destinations of the area.
But, there’s more to the “City Guides” than you may think. Each city has a list of ‘Places the Locals Go’ a feature that could come in handy if you want to diverge from the beaten touristic paths and hang out with the locals. It shows the most popular places and gives general reviews of these spots if you want to discover the city on your own.
Each entry has a ‘bookmark’ option. Tap on it and the place will appear in the ‘Saved’ section right above the list of the cities, or you can bookmark the city itself to make it easily accessible in the future.
There is, however, a major drawback to the “City Guides” we should address. In its current state the feature lists only large and international cities, so don’t expect to find any beach resorts or small towns and villages there. With that said the “Guides” do look pretty promising. With time it can truly become a fully fleshed out alternative to traditional travel-planning apps that Facebook users deserve. Let’s wait and see.
If you find the article interesting, you might also enjoy our previous Facebook-related entries, like "Is Facebook a rival to LinkedIn?" or "Facebook is testing out a Dislike button for Messenger".