Facebook, Instagram add new features to help find and support local businesses

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Facebook is announcing new features that will allow users to show their support for small businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

The popular social network will introduce a new section called Businesses Nearby, which will allow you to see the latest posts from businesses within a certain geographic radius.

You can adjust the settings up to 800km, view their current hours and pickup/delivery options and make a booking or send them a message.

This feature was rolled out in the US and will soon be available for South Africans and worldwide.

In a blog post, Facebook described this as a way to allow users to “more quickly find essential products and services”. It is also aims to help businesses get “more virtual foot traffic as they move online to stay open.”

User can also show support for a small business using the brand-new Support Small Business sticker on Instagram or #SupportSmallBusiness hashtag in Facebook.

Any posts using the sticker will be added to a shared Instagram story highlighting similar posts from all the accounts you follow.

To put the spotlight on those supporting the fight against the pandemic, creators on Facebook can now tag a post as being “in support of” a specific small business.

In a Covid-19 world where social distancing is the order of the day but communication remains crucial, Facebook has also added a dedicated Business Inbox in the Messenger app. This allows businesses to use Messenger to answer questions sent to their Facebook Page — and by allowing businesses to tag all their COVID-19-related posts from the Page composer.

Facebook added it will be posting Covid-19-related information, tools and tips for small businesses in both the Facebook and Instagram apps.

Businesses can access this information through the Facebook app shortcuts or their Instagram business profile.

By Yasmine Jacobs

Credit: www.iol.co.za

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