Facebook isn’t the kind of company you want encroaching on your territory, especially when you’re Yelp. The social network is in an excellent position to completely annihilate Yelp, and it looks like that’s exactly what it intends to do. Search Engine Land recently spotted a new feature that Facebook is testing known as Professional Services, which will allow users to search for local businesses and show them ratings and recommendations based on what they search. As you’d expect, search results come with contact information and directions to the business.
Facebook is perfectly poised to disrupt Yelp’s business and it looks like it’s about to do just that. A new feature in testing called Professional Services, spotted by Search Engine Land, helps you search for businesses around you, then shows you ratings and recommendations on where to go. You can search for things like dentists, pizza or veterinarians, type a city, then hit enter and you’ll get a nicely sorted list of where Facebook thinks is the best place to go. A quick search for veterinarians near Amsterdam showed up a list sorted by ratings, with people’s public star rating and a quick review underneath each answer. Each result is accompanied by quick access to contact details and addresses, as well as a general map on the right-hand side. The feature, which hasn’t officially launched, is only available on desktop and lists a huge number of categories that are pulled in from business pages registered in the area. The result pages didn’t need to change anything to show up, and the results are automatically generated based on reviews over time. It’s simple right now, but it’s obvious that a move into this space could hurt companies like Yelp and Foursquare as Facebook has wide-reaching access to business data.