If you’ve ever asked your Facebook friends to recommend a restaurant, a new feature rolling out should make it much easier to check out the responses.
Facebook is using a combination of AI and simple keyword recognition to identify posts asking for recommendations, and will then prompt you to turn on the Recommendations feature. When you do, it will automatically add the restaurants’ Facebook pages to the thread, as well as populating a map with their locations.
Engadget reports that the new feature is intended for use not just with restaurants, but with a range of businesses …
You can use it to get advice on beauty salons, home contractors, places to see or things to do as well. I saw a demo of someone looking to find a hair salon in San Francisco, and when her friends offered a few options, links to the salons’ Facebook Pages appear immediately under their suggestions. If there are multiple locations with the same name, you can edit the suggestion to pick out the correct one. If someone suggests a business that doesn’t have a Facebook Page the system still adds them to the map, according to their addresses. You can also go in and customize the map further, by adding and removing locations manually.
Depending on what the business offers, you may also be able to make reservations or appointments from within Facebook.
If it’s a salon, for example, you could select “Request Time,” choose from an array of different services and then it’ll kick you over to Messenger to pinpoint the date and time you want […]
Eventbrite has a more integrated system that presents to you a QR entry code right in the Facebook app. It gets the payment information from Facebook but all transactions are processed by the service in question.
Finally, if you ever want to look over all the businesses recommended by your friends over time, there will be a dedicated feed where they are all collated in one place.
As always with Facebook, the app will update silently in the background, so you should start seeing the new functionality over the next few days. You can usually force an update by deleting and reinstalling the app.
The company is busy at the moment, having recently launched its Workplace app, aiming to compete with business chatroom services like Slack and Hipchat.