“Friends in [City]” Facebook Sidebar Module Engages Travelers With Local Friends

Facebook recently began showing a “Friends in [City]” sidebar module to users who are visiting a location other than the current city listed in their profile. It suggests friends to message who live near a user’s temporary location. The module may be designed to incite conversations or meetups between usually distant friends.

By highlighting this value proposition of Facebook, the site can prove to users why its important to maintain a large friend network, helping Facebook to grow.

Facebook has been testing different sidebar modules for years, looking for ones that receive higher-than-average click through rates or that further specific goals of the social network. Most recently, its tested Discover New Games, Memorable Stories, and What City Do You Live In?, which allowed users to instantly update the current city field of their profile — information that is crucial to accurately targeting users with advertisements.

This newly tested module appears to be targeted at users who’s current IP address located them somewhere far from their usual place of login. The module reads “Friends in [City]” where [City] is a nearby location where some of a user’s friends live. For instance, in the example above the module is titled “Friends in Vienna, Austria” and is followed by the profile pictures and names of two friends accompanied by the test “lives in Vienna, Austria” and “Send him/her a message”.

If a user from California was traveling abroad in Austria, they might see the module, reminding them which of their friends live in the country, and making it easy to contact them. This could lead to a meet up and an introduction to more locals who could eventually become the user’s Facebook friends as well.

With users developing social graphs that span across the globe, surfacing acquaintances who are nearby could be very useful. Some criticize Facebook for co-opting the word “friend” and repurposing it to mean anyone you’ve had a social interaction with. The Friends in [City] module could help demonstrate the worth of these weak ties, reminding travelers that someone with knowledge of the local scene is just a click away.

Social Media 101

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Get hands-on social media training for beginners! Starting November 10, hear from our expert speakers on the  best practices for getting set up on the major social media platforms, how to create meaningful content, and engage with your audience across sites. Register now!

 

Leave a Reply

One Response to ““Friends in [City]” Facebook Sidebar Module Engages Travelers With Local Friends”

  1. What's the latest skinny in facebook-land? | The Social Skinny says:

    [...] Facebook to help you catch up with friends in strange cities – Facebook has been trialling a ‘Friends in [City]’ sidebar that displays when you are visiting a location other than that listed as your hometown.  Another reason that facebook doesn’t make us less social [link]! Read more: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/04/04/nearbyfriends-in-city/ [...]

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Social Media Manager

Aeon Media
San Francisco, CA

Part-time Social Media Manager

Michelson on Medicine
New York, NY

Creative Director

LoudDoor
Columbia, SC

Assistant Social Media Editor

Salon Media Group, Inc
New York, NY

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us