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New Facebook Professional Services Feature May Challenge Yelp | DrivingSales News

New Facebook Professional Services Feature May Challenge Yelp

December 15, 2015 0 Comments


Search Engine Land has reported about a new “Facebook Professional Services” section, where the company appears to be taking direct aim at local search companies such as Yelp and Google by offering listings of local businesses and services, including user reviews.

The new feature has not been announced by Facebook and is available only on desktop at this point.

Initially, visitors to Professional Services are presented with a page that has their current location preselected. The user can perform searches within that area by typing into a dialog box that serves up business categories such as dentists, beauty salons, pharmacies, financial planners, and many others.


There is a vast array of category options, with at least 85 business types available down the page in an “Explore other services” section, with even more suggestions appearing once the user starts typing into the search box.

The search results are displayed in a manner that takes Facebook’s five-star rating system into account, however, the results are not strictly ranked by how many stars a business averages. Considering Facebook’s extensive knowledge of user preferences, it can be assumed that the results are customized depending on a user’s interactions with the Page of a business, or based on whether someone they are connected with has reviewed a business on Facebook, or both. Search Engine Land reported that it saw slightly different results when logged into Facebook in comparison to searching while logged out.

The results page shows the company’s contact information and hours of business, as well as excerpts of reviews, with a link to see more reviews on the Facebook Page of the business. Additionally, the services results page includes a map that indicates where businesses are located and links to similar businesses in adjacent areas.


The feature also allows users to explore other areas, with a wide geographic range that lets them seek out the highest-rated hotels in New Zealand or search for the best pizza in American Samoa, among many others.

At this point, it’s unclear how Facebook Professional Services will integrate with Facebook Places, the social network’s local search directory that provides a method for exploring geographic locations through the eyes of Facebook friends and strangers.

There are some who believe that Places could eventually be a Yelp killer if Facebook promotes it more and makes it available on mobile. Perhaps the new Facebook Professional Services feature will increase the threat to Yelp, and it will be interesting to see when Facebook will announce its existence and how hard it will work to promote its use.

Is Facebook going to destroy the power of Yelp in the near future with this new feature?

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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