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Facebook Repositions App As Recommendation Engine, Key Commerce Channel

On your phone or desktop, Facebook wants to become a one-stop shop for, well, whatever your friends are into.

To that end, the social giant is rolling out some new features designed to help you solicit suggestions from “friends,” and then pursue recommended products and services -- all without leaving its platform.

Now, when I’m looking for great coffee in an unfamiliar part of town, I can turn on Facebook's new Recommendations feature, and my friends will be encouraged to help out. 

If and when my friends suggest specific businesses, Facebook will map out their exact locations, and then save this information in one place.

I can also go to the Recommendations bookmark on Facebook to ask a new question, or help friends with their queries.

Facebook is also hoping that people will use the new feature to find events. To improve the process of exploring events, it just updated its Events bookmark to include the latest events activity from friends and hosts.

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With Events, users can also browse event recommendations based on what’s popular with friends, or events they have connected with in the past. This new version of the events dashboard is expected to start rolling out domestically in the coming weeks.

Last but not least, Facebook is making it easier for users to actually acquire the products and services that friends recommend. For example, users can now order food from restaurants simply by clicking “Start Order” on a restaurant’s Facebook Page -- so long as that restaurant uses Delivery.com or Slice.

For local businesses that require appointments -- like spas and salons -- users can now request a time on a business's Facebook Page, while also viewing their entire slate of services and offerings.

Of course, businesses are being encouraged to respond to appointment requests via Facebook Messenger.

Some local business Pages will now have a “Get Quote” button at the top, which will let you request a quote.

Additionally, Facebook will now let users buy movie tickets straight from their Pages via Fandango, while, in partnership with Ticketmaster and Eventbrite, it is inviting people to buy tickets to other events directly from the event page.

 

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