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Facebook revamps 'Nearby' feature to emulate Foursquare

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Location-based checkins aren't a new Facebook feature, but the company is getting ready to compete even more closely with Foursquare and Yelp with the upcoming revamp of Facebook Nearby. The service will take advantage of the 250 million users who tag posts with their locations every month to help you discover more locations based on the likes, checkins, and recommendations of both friends and other Facebook users. TechCrunch has posted an extensive hands-on with the service, and it appears heavily inspired by Foursquare's ever-improving mobile app. When users tap the "nearby" button in the Facebook mobile app, they'll now receive a customized listing of locations; before, it simply just pulled up a list of what was closest to you.

This list is curated by a variety of factors, including whether friends of your have checked in or liked a location or whether they've rated or left a text description. There are also a variety of different sub-categories you can drill into (like food, coffee, nightlife, or arts) which appear to directly mirror the categories found in Foursquare's app. All in all, it looks like a major improvement over Facebook's old location-based engine that appears to leverage the company's purchase of Gowalla last year. If you're interested in checking it out for yourself, Facebook says the new Nearby features will be rolling out to Android and iOS users through an app update later today.