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I’ve always thought that the ‘Nearby’ feature of Facebook was fairly pointless. Evidently, the folks at Facebook agreed to an extent and have found a way to improve the feature and turn it into a “search and discovery tool”.

In addition to seeing where your friends have checked-in, you’ll be able to see businesses that are close to you, which actually makes the name ‘Nearby’ make much more sense.

If you’re a business owner, this is fantastic news as it creates a new way to bring in customers. ‘Nearby’ draws from the Facebook database, however, so you’ll not only need to have a page for your business, but you’ll also want to make sure it is updated and has an established audience.

This incarnation of ‘Nearby’ will start out solely as a mobile feature and, honestly, probably works better that way. Be sure to read Search Engine Land’s article on the subject to get specific advice from Facebook about how to maximize your page’s visibility through ‘Nearby’.