(Reuters) - Facebook Inc has quietly debuted a feature that helps users find local businesses based on customer reviews, bringing it in direct competition with similar services from Yelp Inc and Angie’s List Inc.
The service has been operational on the social networking site since last month, is available globally and can be accessed even without a Facebook account.
“We’re in the early stages of testing a way for people to easily find more Pages for the services they’re interested in,” Facebook spokesman Mike Manning said.
Facebook allows businesses to create profile pages on its site and these pages have a section where users can post and read reviews.
Companies such as Yelp and Angie’s List are known for similar services that allow users to find and rate restaurants and a variety of other businesses.
Facebook’s shares closed little changed at $104.55 on Tuesday. Yelp’s shares ended down 9.1 percent at $26.88, while Angie’s shares finished up 1.7 percent at $9.24.
The Facebook webpage for the new feature reads “Find local businesses with the best Facebook reviews and ratings” and can be accessed through the URL, www.facebook.com/services.
The feature was first reported on tech blogs Search Engine Land and acodez.
Reporting by Sai Sachin R in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Savio D'Souza