Facebook And Factual Expand Global Geo-Data Alliance
In addition to accessing more location information across more countries, Facebook can also pull TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews from Factual Crosswalk, says Factual SVP Bill Michels.
Facebook is continuing to find new ways to work with geo-data platform Factual, including pulling in more place-based attribution capabilities along with reviews from Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other content providers.
Factual was first tapped by Facebook began in August 2015 with Facebook licensing Factual’s US Places data, which includes restaurants and hotels “extended attributes,” to support Facebook business pages, Places search, check-ins, and more.
The partnership now includes countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific and is based on Factual’s Global Places data, which covers more than 100 million places across 52 countries.
The deal essentially is about “more countries, more data,” says, Bill Michels, SVP Product & Partnerships at Factual.
“Factual’s quality is always improving, particularly on a global scale, and customers are recognizing its value to their business,” Michels says. “Facebook now gets access to additional global Factual data, which can be leveraged across various Facebook products.”
The Value Of Digital Presence
In addition to location information, Factual is also giving Facebook access to its Crosswalk offering, which connects physical locations to their online presence by mapping Factual Place IDs to related IDs and URLs across 10-plus different namespaces.
Through Crosswalk, users of Facebook business Pages can seamlessly incorporate Yelp reviews, Wikipedia pages, Tripadvisor reviews, and other app-based content that they choose to highlight.
The use of Factual data to bring in the wider information associated with a a business’s location is also meant to help Facebook keep pace with the changes rival Google has made for large and small enterprises, including Google My Business’s recent update to make restaurants’ menus more searchable and discoverable. In addition to menus, the GMB update also gives restaurants the ability to make photos and reviews more discoverable by even the vaguest searches.
It all goes to winning the battle of “digital presence.” With 2.5 billion comments being added to Facebook businesses’ Pages every month, Facebook is competing directly with Google to help businesses manage their digital presences by giving owners greater abilities to be discovered and engage with their existing and potential customers.
Having greater access to vital information such as updated hours and click-to-call (or message) businesses makes Facebook essential for most businesses — just as Google search is just as important for being found by customers.
And in Factual’s view, that’s what makes this latest move by Facebook so noteworthy.
“The expanded partnership with Facebook enables them to leverage Crosswalk, an attribute within Factual’s Global Places data set that correlates third party links or information to provide further context on a specific location,” Michels says.