If you’re in New York next week and want to eat at a top chef’s restaurant, one of five to six restaurants on the 39th floor of the 432 Park Avenue Hotel, as a part of a promotion for Facebook’s new Messenger feature, you’ll be out of luck. Just after noon on May 1, restaurants at the hotel are not going to be open to the public. Guests must use Facebook’s new Messenger app, invite friends and ensure that their restaurant reservations are compatible with the app.
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The locations of the restaurants you’ll see when you’re using the app include Convivio Restaurant and Bar and Centro (four other restaurants are available on Facebook Messenger).
As they became available earlier this month, Facebook’s executive lifestyle director Jamin Bonner said that the restaurants would be part of a promotion designed to “hype up” a new feature of Facebook Messenger, the standalone app that allows users to send quick messages to one another. Bonner said restaurants featured on the app would also see a “larger boost” in users showing up to eat at their places.
Facebook didn’t initially clarify how it would be evaluating businesses using the app; if they did, however, restaurants at the hotel would only be listed in the U.S.
The promotion is still going on, Facebook told FOXBusiness.com Tuesday, and the reason for closing restaurants down for a short period is that, “We’re using Facebook Spaces today to celebrate Messenger’s new VR feature, which was only available last week.”
“We want to make sure restaurants on Spaces are available for a full week so that customers can see firsthand how we can improve on both the hardware and software sides so everyone can enjoy private, reliable VR sessions with family and friends,” a Facebook spokesperson told FOXBusiness.com.
Facebook recently launched a new version of Messenger, including an option to send 360-degree videos in Messenger. The app also is working on a call-forward feature that lets friends call one another even if the person doesn’t use Messenger.