Facebook has silently introduced a new feature in India, Facebook Services. Facebook Services is a new professional service site which helps the users discover some of the best rated service providers in their area such as plumbing, spa, event planning, pet service, health and medicine, automotive services etc.
Facebook Services will offer users, the professional services from local businesses and organisations based on their reviews and ratings on Facebook. It also offers details such as address, contact numbers and ratings. Facebook is in the early stages of testing this new service as per reports in different media articles.
The users of Facebook are presented first with a page that has their current location preselected. Searches can be made within that area by typing into a dialog box that serves up business categories like plumbers, electricians, photographers, spa, medicine and health and so on.
There are about 85 services listed out in the services section. Search results are displayed in a way that takes Facebook’s five-star rating system into account, but results are not strictly ranked by how many stars a business averages. Given Facebook’s deep knowledge of individual preferences, 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. The results might differ when you are logged out of the Facebook.
The results page displays the contact information of the business, ratings and call/message option. The services results page also includes a map that shows where businesses are located and links to similar businesses in adjacent areas.
As of now the service is in testing phase and it is available only for desktop version and mobile site. The mobile app is yet to get the testing version of the new feature.
What is Facebook aiming to yield from Facebook Services?
At present Facebook has more than 50 million business pages and services could be their long-term vision of monetizing these business pages. Facebook is testing several new features in order to find alternate revenue streams. Earlier Facebook Messenger has integrated with Uber to help the users find taxis. So there is no expected date as to when Facebook Services will go officially online. As of now as a user I don’t think Facebook page is anything special other than just providing random updates posted by the page admin. These services might help Facebook to grow more in local search and encourage more businesses to claim and enhance their Facebook pages.
Google, the baap of internet is already providing us lot of options if you search a keyword in Google. So Facebook wants to encourage users as well as business owners to use pages and enhance the listings. This will allow more users on Facebook and they spend more time on Facebook rather than googling it.
Home Service landscape of India!
As per this Yourstory report, there are more than 132 home services companies in India and over 500 local services companies. The major players include Local Oye, Urban Clap, Helpr.in, housejoy.in, bro4u, jack on block, quikr, just dial, sulekha etc.
A simple google search “Plumbing services Bangalore” is giving out 2,50,000 results with all the above major players either in the page 1 or 2 of the search results. Now as a user, my confusion is which service to use? or should i go to Facebook to search for a plumber as well???
I thought Facebook is a social media platform where I can mingle with my friends and find my lost friends as well. But Facebook is achieving new dimensions with these professional services and now I think people will spend more time on Facebook than on TV!
What do you think? whether the social media giant will be able to deliver the best service or the startups in this space provide you the best option? Post your comments below.