Facebook Places has existed within the sprawling social network in one way or another since 2010, but a fresh redesign suggests bigger ambitions than just check-ins and ratings. The new Places, which was unveiled quietly this week, offers a full rundown of interesting activities and locations all around the planet in what looks like a clear move against companies like Yelp and Foursquare.
Head to facebook.com/places and you’ll see a simple search bar with an iconic city pictured in the background. From there you can pick a city or town and you’ll get a list of locations broken into categories like restaurants, hotels, cafes and public attractions. The results are based on Facebook’s own data, and organized into elegant grids with lots of big photos. Each Places page also offers a map of other nearby cities at the bottom for even more exploring.
Facebook isn’t advertising the new feature—at least not yet—and you can’t access the redesigned directory from the site’s main search bar. Places could be really useful for anyone visiting a new city. It could even make for a solid standalone app, though for now it’s likely to go unnoticed by most people.