Available on facebook.com/services, the page lets users find the best local businesses and organisations based on their reviews and ratings on Facebook, and lists their phone numbers, website, and work timings. Bookings cannot be made through the page yet, and the user is directed to the website, phone number, or email connected to the service.
“We’re in the early stages of testing a way for people to easily find more Pages for the services they’re interested in,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
The feature is not available on Facebook’s mobile apps yet, and it seems likely the services will roll out through Facebook’s Messenger platform. Facebook had announced Friday that it is rolling out new tools for Messenger to let users find and connect with friends and businesses through messenger codes, usernames, and links. With the roll out of this feature, usernames will show up on the page underneath the page title with an @ symbol before it. Messenger Links when clicked, opens a conversation with the business in Messenger.
The rollout of these two features means that Facebook is taking on a host of Indian chat-based personal assistant apps and aggregators of hyperlocal services like Housejoy, Taskbob, LocalOye, and UrbanClap.
Facebook had said in December 2015 that more than 1.99 billion interactions have been made between people and the two million small businesses with Facebook Pages in India.
According to recent research from startup data tracker Tracxn, there are 530 local services companies and 132 home services companies that have cumulatively raised over $180 million (roughly Rs. 1,199 crores) in funding in India.