Facebook is testing a new feature called "Popular Pages in Your Area". The new section is located to the right of the News Feed beneath the Trending feature, which displays news results that Facebook's algorithms believe users will be interested in.
Here's a screenshot, sent to us by Samuel Edwards from Tenthwave Digital:
Edwards lives in New York City, hence he is seeing local area pages including "The Wendy Williams Show" and "The Game" on BET. When a user clicks on the "See All" link, Facebook redirects to their "Local Places in [City]" page.
The Local Places page is skewed toward pages that have a lot of likes, or have either check-ins or likes from your friends. It doesn't skew based on like numbers, friend likes, or friend check-ins, as scrolling down actually shows other places with higher like counts.
I suspect that this will eventually go the route of being a paid advertising option for local businesses that are looking to get the word out about their business or service to local Facebook users. It's a great opportunity if they do, especially if they allow advertisers to target based on user's interests or even potentially what they recently posted on.
Facebook added trending topics back in January and has been a fairly popular feature with users. As they did when Facebook first introduced trending topics, it's likely that Facebook is either testing this feature or rolling it out slowly.