Facebook has quietly launched a new site that connects users with “local businesses and organizations with the best Facebook reviews and ratings.” Its called Facebook Professional Services.
Visitors to Professional Services are presented first with a page that has their current location pre-selected. Searches can be made within that area by typing into a dialog box that serves up business categories like photographers, salons, pharmacies and so on. Each listing comes with a star rating, based on Facebook users’ reviews, as well as the number of reviews. Listings also include a short description, hours of operation, phone number and address.
The results page displays businesses’ contact information and hours of business, and excerpts of reviews. The services results page also includes a map that shows where businesses are located and links to similar businesses in adjacent areas.
The list of categories is extensive. Down the page, there are at least 85 business types in an “Explore other services” section. Whatever service you need, Facebook might be able to help, linking listings for the more than 50 million businesses that have Facebook Pages with people’s reviews.
According to the website Search Engine Land, “results are likely customized for users depending on their previous interactions with a business’s Page or whether someone they are connected with has reviewed a business on Facebook”.