If you use Facebook's iOS or Android app, booking a reservation at a local restaurant just got a lot easier. Starting today, Facebook app users can book tables at restaurants directly within a Facebook app. The new feature uses OpenTable to book spots, and users don't have to leave the Facebook app in order to make a reservation happen. Here's how you can book your next restaurant reservation through Facebook.
How to Book A Table Through Facebook
When you open up your Facebook app, you will see the usual search bar at the top of your news feed screen. Type the name of a restaurant into that bar. You will then be taken to that restaurant's homepage where a small OpenTable icon will pop up.
From there, enter your party information (number of people), and check for available times. The app's new feature will let you know what times are available right away. Restaurants will need to be using OpenTable in order for the reservation feature to be available, but most major restaurants in bigger cities use OpenTable already anyway. You don't need to use OpenTable regularly (or have an account) in order to book a table, though.
Canceling a Reservation
Sometimes things don't work out. When you need to cancel a reservation, just open up the same Facebook app, find the OpenTable app, and tap to cancel a reservation. It's that simple. Why is Facebook trying to connect users with restaurants? It's a relatively simple concept, really.
Facebook is following in the footsteps of Yelp and Foursquare, which happen to be two services that make reviewing and booking a restaurant reservation simpler. The fact of the matter is that many social network users love to eat out (heck, who doesn't?), and that means that setting up a seamless way to book a reservation will make all of those users happy - so why not? That's the stance that Facebook, Yelp, and Foursquare are taking, anyway.
Other Notes of Interest
The new OpenTable update is currently available in the Google Play and App store. The update is free, of course. In addition to the OpenTable update, you'll also get Facebook's new hashtag update included. In case you're not familiar with this new feature, it allows you to use hashtags via Facebook (and conduct a search using hashtags).
The new Facebook OpenTable reservation system could make booking a table for an event organized via Facebook simpler, too. Imagine how much easier it would be to invite people to an event, and then book that event via Facebook's OpenTable app feature. All the work would be taken out of going to a restaurant site to reserve.
There are other reasons why the OpenTable is useful too. Restaurants, for example, will have an easier time getting people to reserve in advance through the app, and it will make everyone's life simpler - if you use Facebook's apps, that is. What do you think about this new feature? Good, bad? Will you use Facebook's OpenTable option?