Facebook and Social Dining
Facebook is now focusing on helping its users organize their offline social life by joining hands with real-time restaurant reservation service OpenTable.
From this week, mobile users in the US (android, iOS and m-sites) will be able to book tables at their favorite restaurants using the Facebook app. To do this, users need to visit the restaurant’s page on the social network and they can make a direct reservation on OpenTable.
Users can also book tables using Facebook’s ‘Nearby’ feature to search for a restaurant. After selecting the preferred restaurant, users can go to the restaurant’s page on Facebook and make the reservation directly on OpenTable. As soon as the reservation is made, OpenTable will send the user a confirmation email about the booking. At this time, all bookings made through Facebook are for two people by default.
Users don’t need to worry about privacy since Facebook has assured that reservations will not generate a news feed post and users cannot share a booking with friends.
This service is currently enabled for only those restaurants that don’t require a credit card to make reservations. However, according to Facebook, more than 20,000 OpenTable restaurant customers across North America will be able to use this service.
The booking service is native to Facebook’s mobile app. Users will not be re-directed to other mobile sites (as it happens with Yelp or Google Maps), they don’t need to open any prompts or download any apps.
Implications for businesses
Those in the restaurant business can now hope for more patrons as booking becomes easier. Since Facebook is one of the most visited social networking sites, people wanting to make restaurant reservations may well prefer to do it through Facebook now that it’s possible.
Listing on TV and Movie Pages
Primetime TV show and movie buffs are going to like Facebook more from now. The site will begin showing TV listing information on US primetime TV and movie pages.
The listings will be based on users’ current time zone and will include the channel name, the time the show airs and a description of the show or movie.
This update not only helps users keep track of TV shows and movies, it also helps boost viewership of shows and movies since people are able to keep better track of screening timings.