These days, looking for a restaurant can take you through a Facebook vortex as well as Yelp or some less democratic review site. Many restaurants use Facebook so diners can "check in," much to the irritation of their friends. And graze on touched-up photos of signature dishes. And read a marketing intern-posing-as-a-chef get all poetic about the night's special, in truth a means of expediting the consumption of some aging fish. Beginning later this week though, through a brand-new integration with OpenTable, Facebook will enable diners to make their reservations through the social media site.
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The service is first launching on Facebook's mobile site and apps for iOS and Android, with a likely future expansion to the desktop and other platforms. According to Facebook, users will be able to book tables at 20,000 restaurants across North America. That's a whole lot of dishes, y'all.
So what's so special about this development? Doesn't Yelp already do something like this? Facebook feels pretty confident its integration takes the cake. It won't require the opening of a new browser window. You won't even have to register with OpenTable to use the app. Later this week, you can put their money where your mouth is and make your own determination.