Facebook is quietly entering the domain of local business search market. The new feature called “Facebook Professional Services” was very discretely released by Facebook recently. Strangely enough, there has been no announcement or even a mention regarding the release of this important feature even as a beta version either through a press release or in its blog.
This significant development only came to public knowledge when Search Engine Land brought it to public domain. They had brought this out in their blog on 14th Dec 2016 in its post titled “Is Facebook Professional Services – Facebook’s Stealth Project to beat Yelp”. When it was verified further it was found this feature was released by Facebook as an ongoing test about a month back.
The said feature “Facebook Professional Services” comes with search offerings of listings of local businesses and services, complete with user reviews. Users who get in to this feature are presented with a search page with their current location already set in. But they can change the location to any area in the world and do a search. So a user can search for any service or business anywhere in the world.
“Facebook Professional Services” comes with search offerings of listings of local businesses and services, complete with user reviews.
The contact information, hours of business, excerpts of reviews etc. are the details presently displayed on result page of a search. There is also a map pinpointing the location of the service displayed. There are about 85 categories of professional services like plumbers, electricians, photographers, pharmacies, dentists etc. covered as of now in this feature. However, currently the feature is available for the desk top version only. Though it is available with mobile web it will take time for Facebook to integrate it with its app or even create a separate app for this feature.
It is said that Facebook has added this feature “Facebook Professional Services” to compete with companies like Yelp and Google who are in local search business. It is a big pie of business to bite and Facebook is in for a stiff competition with these giants who have already been there for quite a long time.
Facebook has added this feature “Facebook Professional Services” to compete with companies like Yelp and Google
Besides that Facebook might be playing to the galleries of its 50 million business page owners for their advertising dollars who are on Facebook now. Its a long shot – but that seems to be the aim of this rapidly growing internet giant now.