Facebook Launches New Features to Influence Offline Spending

Facebook recently announced two new features for its mobile Web and iOS and Android mobile apps that will allow users to book restaurants and access TV and movie listings without ever leaving the world of Facebook. These features could help the social network compete with services offered by the likes of Fandango, Yelp and GroupOn. Ultimately, by influencing offline spending, Facebook hopes to generate more revenue and draw more advertisers.

“Facebook says [it] has teamed up with OpenTable and would allow you to book any of the 20,000 restaurants without going to the OpenTable application. You can make [a list of] your favorite restaurants, make reservations and share details with friends — a pretty logical thing to do on a ‘social’ network,” notes GigaOM.

The rolling upgrade is part of the company’s overall strategy to become more involved in local commerce and impact offline spending.

“It is Facebook’s attempt to add ‘intent’ as a key behavior for its 800 million strong user base. This is yet another example of Facebook squaring off with Google,” explains the article. “Google is one of the major influencers of real time spending and that is what gives the search company such a huge chunk of online advertising. ”

The more time that users spend in the Facebook world, the more potential revenue the company can earn. These new features seem to be a prudent move for Facebook, and will likely lead to other developments that allow Facebook to influence even more of the Internet.