By SHANNON KELLY
Facebook and TripAdvisor have teamed up to launch a Facebook-hosted restaurant app called Local Picks. The app is meant to highlight neighbourhood favourites as rated and reviewed on TripAdvisor by locals from the area you’re searching and covers more than 850,000 restaurants worldwide.
What makes this more than just TripAdvisor listings in a new format is that by integrating with Facebook you’re alerted to reviews and ratings from your Facebook friends. You can also find local chefs, food bloggers or other “foodies” on Facebook and follow their recommendations.
You get all the information that TripAdvisor offers: the reviews and ratings, address, neighbourhood, type of cuisine, menus, “good for” information, map and user-submitted photos.
However, the app, which is in beta, seems to have some kinks. Though Local Picks claims to weigh the reviews and ratings of locals more heavily, reviewers for the Top Picks aren’t necessarily locals. The most recent reviewer for Black Hoof in Toronto, for instance, was from India. Additionally, we got zero results for Spanish Top Picks in Montreal, even though tapas restaurant Pintxo was clearly listed as a Top Pick among all Montreal cuisines. Search filters are also iffy. When we clicked on the Japanese search filter in Toronto we came up with nothing though we’d just been looking at a review for Blowfish Japanese. And some cuisine filters (like Canadian) don’t exist in the clickable menu, even though restaurants are categorized as such.
Still to come: a mobile version of Local Picks, the ability to add restaurants and versions in languages other than English.