The online reservation wars are heating up: Today, social networking behemoth Facebook announced a partnership with reservation website OpenTable that will allow visitors to make reservations direct from restaurants' mobile Facebook pages. According to the announcement, the 20,000 restaurants currently on OpenTable can now offer reservations "within the native Facebook app," meaning diners don't need an OpenTable account to make their reservation. The OpenTable integration is similar to that currently offered on Yelp, in which users can book tables directly from a restaurant's Yelp page.
Just two weeks ago, OpenTable announced it was taking over the reservation system of IAC's Urbanspoon, once one of its biggest competitors. And the partnership, which makes business' Facebook pages more functional, could mean more dollars for the social networking site, as well. As TechCrunch notes: "By equipping the Pages with information and interactivity that move the needle for businesses, Facebook could also encourage them to advertise for their Pages." The updates are already rolling out "automatically."