On Monday, social media titan Facebook announced another mobile update that includes a new deal with OpenTable, the California-based restaurant reservation service, that will allow mobile users to book their dinner reservations from a restaurant’s page on the Facebook mobile app.
The ability to book reservations with the 20,000 North American restaurants featured on OpenTable should be seen as yet another maneuver by Facebook designed to provide a more comprehensive social experience at the exclusion of other services. For example, this new deal places Facebook in direct competition with Yelp, the crowdsourced “social review” site that allows users to submit their opinions of local businesses, which is also integrated with OpenTable.
In addition, this mobile update pairs this service with a new one that allows users to see the programming schedules for television programs that have Facebook pages. Each page displays the program’s next local airing time as well as the channel on which it is airing. All of this information will be based on location data and time zones.
This update also sees the inclusion of hashtags on mobile devices. While hashtags debuted on the browser version of Facebook in early June, they had not yet been included on the mobile app. Users will be able to search various topics and tap on them when they appear in updates to access posts, discussions and stories that are tagged in a similar manner.
This update offers much more than a few new mobile services from a popular social network. Ever since Facebook acquired Instagram last year, it has been engaged in a series of strategic maneuvers that have been executed with the goal of not only maintaining Facebook’s current status as the world’s most popular social network, but finding ways to integrate it more fully into its users’ lives. By offering services tailored more for day-to-day activities, Facebook is continuing to execute a well-conceived plan to ensure its own longevity.
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