Hungry or bored? Facebook to the rescue. The social network is updating its mobile applications to help members book tables at restaurants or find something entertaining to watch.
Beginning Monday, Facebook members can make restaurant reservations at more than 20,000 eateries in North America. The social network has integrated with OpenTable so that members can now book tables directly from restaurants' Facebook Pages on iOS and Android. The feature is said to work completely inside Facebook's app and doesn't require the booker to be an OpenTable member.
In addition, Facebook for iOS users will find that Facebook Pages for U.S. prime-time television shows and movies now include TV listings with air times, channel information, and content descriptions. The feature means "that the listings that exist in cable box guides, magazines, and newspapers are now conveniently located on the Facebook Pages of people's favorite shows," the company said in a blog post announcing the update.
Facebook said it will automatically turn on the informational features. Venues that already support OpenTable in the U.S. can immediately accept reservations through Facebook, no additional work required. TV listing info is also being automatically added to appropriate Pages.
Both additions turn Facebook's mobile properties into places where people can go to fulfill more of their needs, which means the social network should benefit from folks spending more time with its apps and be able to entice more businesses to maintain Pages.
Separately, with the Facebook for iOS update, people will find that the social network's brand-new hashtags work on their Apple smartphone or tablet. Members on iOS could previously add hashtags to posts, but now they can search for hashtags or click on them to see what other people are saying.