Facebook is live testing star ratings for Pages on its desktop version. The social media company extended the five-star rating system from its mobile platform to allow users find businesses near their locations. It will also boost Facebook's performance against location-based networks such as Yelp and Foursquare.
Technology blog TechCrunch was first to report about the new Facebook feature on desktop when it was tipped by an anonymous source, later on identified as Om Agarwal. The tipster sent a screenshot of the star rating system in action. It seems to be activated for a small subsection of users.
TechCrunch was able to get information from a Facebook representative.
"We're extending star ratings on Facebook from mobile to desktop - to make it easier for people to discover great businesses around them. This is beneficial for both businesses and consumers. Star ratings encourage more people to rate a business, making it eligible to appear in News Feed and help others discover a business they didn't know about previously. For businesses themselves, this also leads to greater brand awareness," the Facebook spokesperson said.
"As you may recall, star ratings launched in early 2012 with the introduction of Nearby on mobile. Now we're bringing the visibility of star ratings to a more prominent spot at the top of Pages' timeline on desktop and to the preview in News Feed," the Facebook representative added.
While Facebook has not rolled the review system on a global scale, doing so will add weight to the opinion of its community of users. The Like button may indicate that users noticed something on their Timeline but it does not clearly indicate whether they clicked something because they sympathize, endorse, or even dislike something. The five-star rating system will show true sentiments of Facebook users and will be critical for business owners and brands and will be another source of review for consumers to base their decisions on.
It is not yet clear if Facebook will require Page owners to display the five-star scale just as how other review sites do. If ever, companies will not just use Facebook to engage with their fans but also will focus on customer service to get favorable ratings.