For a long while, Facebook has allowed its members to review the businesses that appear within the business pages of the site. This allowed people who were interested in a specific business to check the Facebook page for not only the hours of the business but also what others thought about it. This hasn’t been overly helpful to businesses who wish to be discovered by new people since it only allows a person to check out a business that they already know about.
All of that is about to change since Facebook is now testing a feature, known as Professional Services, which will make it possible for Facebook users to actually search for businesses that they might be interested in going to. The feature will allow people to search for certain types of businesses that are within a certain distance of their Facebook location or any location that they search for. This will make it much easier for people to find the businesses in their area and read the reviews to decide between them.
One of the main advantages that Facebook has over many review websites already out there is that users have to use their real names linked with their Facebook profiles in the reviews of the business. For many it is easier to trust people who are posting reviews that appear to all of their friends then it does some random people posting under strange usernames on an online site. Facebook users can read friends reviews and the reviews of other people who actually have their name displayed along with their review on the Facebook website.
Testing of the new feature has companies like Yelp and Angie’s list worried about the future with Facebook as a competitor. With Facebook getting more involved in the rating of different businesses, there is some worry that people will choose Facebook over any of the other review sites they may have frequented. Many people already have a Facebook account so they may be more likely to post reviews and look for business reviews on this site. These website’s need not worry for a while at least since the feature is still only in the testing phase of development.