Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is testing a new feature that helps users find service providers in their area, similar to a Yelp or Angie's List.
Facebook.com/services compiles a directory of professional service providers such as contractors, plumbers, doctors, child care, repair techs, etc., reported TechCrunch.
Facebook now joins Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google in the growing list of Web merchants trying to connect consumers with local service providers. In March, Amazon launched Home Services and Google made the offerings an extension to its AdWords platform. All parties are looking to capitalize on their vast numbers of users and reach to join the popular local business review sites Angie's List and Yelp.
Thus far, the bulk of the listings on Facebook's Services page are for professional services, with links to more than 80 business types in this directory. And for area service providers for spas, automotive, pet services, etc., there are smaller links through thumbnail images above the larger directory.
But even local businesses not listed in the directory can be found by typing in the search box. These companies run the gamut from hotels and restaurants to nightclubs and sightseeing.
The search results page includes data such as address--and where the business is located on a map--phone number and ratings.
Facebook has been ramping up its business services, most recently with a buy button and tools that make it easier for consumers to chat with businesses. As of December, Facebook said it had more than 50 million active business pages on its site, up from 40 million in April.
-See this TechCrunch article
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