Without much fanfare, Facebook has quietly rolled out and started testing a type of recommendation service that assists users in finding top-reviewed and rated local businesses and services based on customer input and reviews. The service essentially directly competes with companies like Yelp and Angie's List.
As many people know, Facebook allows businesses to create their own profile pages on the social network. These “Pages” now have a specific section where Facebook users can post and read reviews. In fact, you do not even need a Facebook account to do these things. Websites Yelp and Angie’s List are global companies widely known for similar rating and searching services.
Facebook’s service looks very similar to that of Yelp, which experienced a stock plunge of nearly 8% Tuesday morning. The stock finished the day with a drop of more than 9%.
And, although Facebook has not made any official or formal announcement regarding the feature, the “Facebook Services” site is currently live.
In fact, Facebook Services has been actively operational since November and is available globally. A unique feature is that the accessibility of the service feature without a Facebook account. In response to media coverage about the service, Facebook spokesperson Mike Manning stated that, “We’re in the early stages of testing a way for people to easily find more Pages for the services they’re interested in.”
In early 2015, Facebook completely revamped its Pages feature to make them considerably more useful for small and local businesses. They can now list their hours and types of products and services they provide as well as communicate with current and potential customers. In fact, the changes have been widely applauded by businesses everywhere. Facebook recently announced that over 50 million businesses have gotten on board and set up Pages.
Facebook Services automatically collects a user’s location data and then provides a wide range of business to browse and search. And, if you are already on a business’s Page, you can see a list of categories you can also search and click through.