Facebook has quietly started testing a new recommendation service that lets users find the top-rated and reviewed local businesses in their area.
The service looks similar to Yelp, which saw its stock plunge nearly 8% this morning.
“We’re in the early stages of testing a way for people to easily find more Pages for the services they’re interested in,” a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider via email.
Earlier this year, the company completely overhauled its Pages to make them more useful for small businesses, which can list their services and hours and communicate with potential customers through them. Facebook recently announced that it’s gotten more than 50 million businesses on board.
Here’s what the new site looks like:
The site automatically pulls in location data and then give users a wide range of business categories, including electricians, psychics, and pet services, to search through. Alternatively, if you’re already on a business’s Page, you’ll see a new list of categories that you can click through:
Here’s what the general category page looks like:
Once a user selects a type of service, they will see a list of business options — not actually displayed in order of their ratings or reviews, but with that information prominently listed.
Business Insider asked Facebook about how the ranking system works, and the company declined to give any specifics.
Facebook has said in the past that it envisions becoming the main mobile presence and communication tool for small businesses — as well as the best place for them to buy ads.
These new business category pages will help consumers find new businesses near them, but it could also give Facebook the perfect opportunity to sell ads (you can easily imagine companies being willing to shell out to get prime real-estate at the top of the page).
Yelp declined to comment on Facebook’s new way of categorising businesses.
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