Facebook is rumoured to have rolled out its new desktop-only feature – Facebook Professional Services. It will allow you to find the highest rated businesses around you. This new feature will be in direct competition to Google and Yelp’s local business finding features. It will also have user reviews which will add credibility to business profiles.
Interestingly, the feature has been noticed but the search giant has not officially announced its roll out. When you visit Professional Services, it will present a page where your location is already selected. You can then carry our searches within your area using the dialog box. It will serve different business categories, with few of them including:
- Pizza places
- Beauty salons
And other businesses!
There are more than 85 types of businesses in the section that states “Explore other services”. It gives even more number of suggestions as you type into the box.
Thanks to this new feature, Facebook is expected to connect listings for the staggering 50-million businesses that it has on its site. All these pages can add more value to local listings when they are reviewed by users.
The search results in the new feature rely on the social site’s 5-star rating system. But it is not a hard and fast rule. Individual preference is another factor that comes into role (something Facebook has vast knowledge and data into).
Facebook is also considered to customise the results based on your previous engagement with the business’ page. Even the interaction of your friends could play a role.
Information in the Search Results
The search results will display the following information about local businesses:
- Contact info
- Business hours
- Brief excerpts from reviews
- Link for viewing more reviews on the Facebook page
The Facebook Professional Services page will also display a map showing the location of businesses. it will also give links to other similar businesses in the area.
Integration with Other Facebook Services
It is expected that Facebook may integrate its new Professional Services feature with its existing Facebook Places.
There is widespread belief that the feature could threaten Yelp. Currently, it is available only on desktop but it is expected that it may also roll out on mobile devices.
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