Facebook continues content push by adding critic reviews to restaurant pages



In its bid to increase the quality of hosted content beyond user-generated tidbits, Facebook has added selected critic reviews to restaurant pages.

The run is limited to only a couple of thousand restaurants and the content will come from third-party partner sites that focus exclusively on food content. Presently, the partner list includes Bon Apetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Eater, New York Magazine and the SF Chronicle.

This latest initiative comes on the heels of the social platform’s push to host actual news articles on its servers, which is aimed at increasing the speed of users’ News Feeds by eliminating any loading delay.

In an email to The VergeFacebook suggest just how central these sorts of reviews have become to the Facebook experience: Since reviews are such an important part of helping people make informed decisions about what to do locally, we’re excited to be incorporating a new way for people to use Facebook to find the best real-world experiences.

This move, in many ways, places Facebook further into competition with both Google’s Zagat and the TripAdvisor platform. Since users can already rate other types of businesses, such as hotels, there is already plenty of overlap on the user review side of things. The addition of third-party critic content adds complexity and dynamism to the product, enhancing it value proposition to Facebook users — especially on mobile, a now-majority piece of Facebook’s business.

As Facebook jumps further into the TripAdvisor territory, there’s a clear case here for the brand to consider deeper integration with other restaurant review sites such as Zomato — especially if such a partnership could yield instant restaurant reservations to Facebook’s users.

As TripAdvisor steps further into the restaurant reservation business as part of its instant booking platform initiative, a parallel strategy could unfold for Facebook. That is, unless TripAdvisor’s strategy turns out to lose momentum before ever getting off the ground. Kaufer still sees hope but the jury is still out.


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