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Facebook's revamped Pages help you find local businesses

It's revamping Pages to help you book a table that much sooner.

Facebook's effort to promote all things local is now shifting more toward nearby shops. The social site has launched a slew of updates that should help you both find local businesses and actually do business. It's revamping mobile Pages to help you interact with locations, such as making a restaurant reservation. You'll also see Stories on Pages to get a feel for the company culture, not to mention more prominent access to events, photos and offers. You'll also see related Pages to help you discover other local establishments, although it might not please businesses if Facebook points you to one of their rivals.

Other changes? You'll now see a dedicated Local section on the desktop and in the regular Facebook app, so you won't have to fire up the Facebook Local app to get a quick look at what's nearby. And if you want to work at companies, the company's job application tool is now available worldwide.

The changes are helpful if you're looking for new places to eat or get a haircut, but they might also be necessary. Facebook's renewed emphasis on friends over publishers in your News Feed could make it that much harder for businesses to vie for your attention, especially as the feed itself becomes increasingly crowded. This gives you a better reason to look for those local businesses, and might help smaller outfits that would otherwise struggle to stand out.

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