Facebook users will now see a “Suggest Edits” link in the top right of the info tab for Places pages. When clicked, it reveals a content editor allowing them to add and edit information such as the website or email address of a business. The edits do not immediately go live. Instead, Facebook tells us it implements edits to unclaimed Places after review when appropriate, and is working on a system for presenting potential edits to the admins of claimed Places.
The ability to suggest edits will help Places stay up to date over time and give users the sense that they have a stake in local businesses.
Facebook launched its location service Places in August, allowing users to create new Places pages for locations they want to check in to. Facebook seeded its directory of Places using data from Localeze, which also augments local business directories for Google and Twitter. Businesses can claim Places that represent locations they own, giving them the option to edit this information.
Updates to Localeze profiles are not synced with the corresponding Place, so its useful for Facebook to crowdsource this data management to the people who are actually checking in to the business. For instance, perhaps the phone number of a business has changed, or they’ve recently launched a web page. Users might find out about this first.
The first time a user visits a Places page since the rollout of this ability, they’ll see a “Tell us more” tooltip appear, stating “Add you knowledge to this community.” By clicking Suggest Edits, they can edit the address, city/town, zip code, phone number, website, and email address fields. When they click “Save Changes” they’ll see a line of text thanking them for their suggestions.
Places pages have great potential to be repositories of user-generated content about locations. By allowing users to suggest edits, similar to how users can on sites such as Yelp, Places will accumulate more comprehensive data. With time, Places could begin to wrestle market share of people looking for business contact info away from search engines and review sites.