Facebook quietly redesigns Places?

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Facebook has given an aesthetic redesign to one of its little known features — Places.

As noticed by Inside Facebook reader Matteo Gamba, Facebook Places recently underwent a renovation. A Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook that the designed happened a while ago, however this design feels new.

Gamba discussed the changes on his blog:

Without any official announcement and apparently going unnoticed, Facebook Places have recently undergone some deep visual polishing, including emotional cover images, discovery sections, city and category landing pages and a deep integration with the Location APIGraph Searchqueries and user generated contents.

Rather than offering a mere list of places, Facebook is now using everything it knows about you, your friends and what’s happening in a specific location to help you discover the best places in town… and make you forget about YelpFoursquareTripAdvisor and every other local discovery website.

The Facebook Places Directory is receiving deep visual improvements compared to the old and unarguably outdated version launched in 2011, with an overall design that is much more in line with the other sections of the website.

The main directory easily allows you to search for a specific destination(main focus of the page), provides quick visual links to popular local places and allows users to browse a list of cities from all over the world, segmented by country.

Readers: Had you heard of Facebook Places before? What do you think of it now?