Foodie Facebook App Offers Local Restaurant Recommendations
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
June 20 2012 04:07 PM ET
CREDIT: Facebook: LocalPicks
Hungry? Look no further than Facebook. Travel site TripAdvisor launched the Facebook app Local Picks today (June 20), offering local dining options based on the user's tastes, friends' recommendations, and TripAdvisor reviews.
Each restaurant listing includes a detailed profile and a score from 1 to 5 on the Local Picks Index. TripAdvisor says the app covers more than 850,000 restaurants, so it's likely you'll spot your local favorites. Along with each restaurant’s type of cuisine, address, neighborhood, phone number and website address are a menu, photos and hours of operation. You can click on a link to see a map and send a message to your Facebook friends to plan an outing. Here in Salt Lake City, which is not known for its dining options, I was happy to see a good collection of nearby restaurants.
The listings also pull in tips from Foursquare, and that's where you'll find the most useful information when trying to decide on a dinner spot. For instance, Foursquare user Marisa Z. wrote this about one Salt Lake City sushi restaurant (yes, there is great sushi in Utah): "Go early — they can't accept reservations and the tables fill up FAST for a reason." So if it was already 7:30, you'd know to try elsewhere.
Local Picks makes the most of Facebook's social potential. User ratings and updates post automatically to Timeline. The app is also game-ified, meaning there's a big competitive component. Once you activate Local Picks and rate the restaurants you've been to, you're assigned a Foodie score from 1 to 10, along with a corresponding number of points. A TripAdvisor spokesperson clued us in on how to increase scores.
How to get more points to "level up" on Local Picks:
- 5 for a Review
- 5 for a Tip
- 2 for a Rating
- 1 for a Pick
Foodies also can "favorite" restaurants and mark selections as "want," to keep a list of places to try. A word of caution, though: Like Spotify, Instagram and Pinterest, Local Pick can dominate your Timeline and you risk overloading those friends who might not want to know about every restaurant you've ever visited. Consider your sharing options: Facebook recently added an option to limit your posts to "Friends Except Acquaintances ." That could be a good choice for frequent diners.
Is it time for dinner? Find a good restaurant now.