Here's how to use Facebook Local, the company's newly relaunched Events app

facebook sign thumbs upAP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Facebook relaunched and renamed its Events app — potentially creating a more potent competitor to local event and business listing services such as Yelp. 

The social networking giant on Friday unveiled Local from Facebook, its newly revamped Events app. Also known as Facebook Local, the updated app is a combination of Yelp, Foursquare, and the previous version of the Events app. Available in the US for both Apple iOS and Android devices, it mashes together information about events, local businesses, and places your friends have checked in. You can browse through lists of local bars, check out reviews of local restaurants, search for local businesses, and see what nearby friends are up to.

The app is a bit complicated with lots of filter and search options. Here's how Facebook Local works:

 

 

Local from Facebook automatically syncs with your account on the social network.

Local from Facebook automatically syncs with your account on the social network.
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If you already have the Facebook app installed on your phone, Local will connect with it. Once it's synced with your Facebook account, it will know where you are, who your friends are, and what kind of things you're typically interested in. 

Local's home screen is pretty overwhelming.

Local's home screen is pretty overwhelming.
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There are plenty of options and lots of information on the home screen. It shows you the weather, and you can view events that are trending in your area. If you're traveling, you have the option of changing your location to discover what's happening nearby.

Scrolling down, in the "For you" section, you'll see a rolling list of events your Facebook friends have liked or RSVP'd to.

 

 

From the homepage, you can navigate to the map feature.

From the homepage, you can navigate to the map feature.
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Local can show events taking place near you

Local can show events taking place near you
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Here I've tapped the "today" and "anytime" filters to see what events are happening close to me on this particular day. You can also set the map to show events taking place at a particular date and time. And you can narrow down events by specifying which of 19 different types you're interested in. 

In the "Events" tab, you can search for happenings as much as a week in advance.

In the "Events" tab, you can search for happenings as much as a week in advance.
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If I wanted to find an event taking place tomorrow, I'd tap on that button. 

Once you select a day, Local will offer its "Top Suggestions" for things to do.

Once you select a day, Local will offer its "Top Suggestions" for things to do.
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At the top, the app shows events that are similar to those it lists as "trending" on its home screen. If you scroll down, you'll be able to search through different types of events, ranging from nightlife to networking to games. 

If you select a particular happening, you'll get details about the event.

If you select a particular happening, you'll get details about the event.
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The details page includes all the same things you'd find on a Facebook events page, including the date and time of the event, the number of people who are going, and information about how and where to purchase tickets, if needed. 

If you click the square button on the bottom right corner, you can add the event to your calendar.  

From Local's home screen you can also access a curated guide to upcoming events.

From Local's home screen you can also access a curated guide to upcoming events.
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But those guides can be confusing.

But those guides can be confusing.
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When I selected "The Happiest Hour" guide, Local seemed to offer just a standard list of bars and restaurants in Oakland. It didn't make clear when or what days of the week the happy hours would take place.

I also live and work in San Francisco, so I'm not sure why the app decided to show me bars and restaurants in Oakland. 

 

From Local's home, you can use the search bar to look for particular businesses or events.

From Local's home, you can use the search bar to look for particular businesses or events.
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The app lists a wide range of events. I scanned through the majority of the categories. Every single one I viewed included lots of different goings on.

One of the things you can search for is restaurants.

One of the things you can search for is restaurants.
Caroline Cakebread/Business Insider

To help narrow your search, you can turn on any of three top filters. The ones activated above will highlight restaurants your friends have liked and locations that are open and rank them according to how relevant they are to what you searched for.

Instead of sorting restaurants by relevance, you have Local order them by popularity or how far they are from you.

Instead of sorting restaurants by relevance, you have Local order them by popularity or how far they are from you.
Caroline Cakebread/Business Insider

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