Dozens of apps — GrubHub, Seamless, Caviar, Postmates — deliver restaurant food by courier. The market may seem saturated, but a new player is joining the fray. In its quest to control the universe, Facebook (yes, Facebook) thinks it has the solution. The social network has rolled out a new feature that integrates food ordering and delivery directly into Facebook Pages, TechCrunch reports.
This new system goes into effect across the country today, appearing on the Facebook pages for restaurants that use food delivery services Delivery.com and Slice. Facebook says it is open to partnerships with other delivery services as well.
The object of the new feature is to keep users inside Facebook. Hungry people once had to leave a restaurant’s Facebook page to order food. No longer. Restaurants that use the service will now have a “Start Order” option on their pages, according to details the company released Wednesday, so users can place orders without ever leaving Facebook.
Additionally, a “recommendations” feature will allow Facebook users to harness their friends, network, and online community to crowdsource suggestions, which can be mapped out and saved for future reference. The utility function will also extend to non-food-related areas, letting users book appointments or purchase tickets for events.
Facebook’s main goal with this concept centers around streamlining various processes, with a “why use a bunch of different apps when you can just use one?” mentality, as Recode noted.
Facebook already competes against other food-centric services like Yelp with its business pages (which encourage user reviews and ratings). The company enabled bot-based ordering into its Messenger app earlier this year.
And yes, this is so we all end up spending 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on Facebook, and only Facebook.
Facebook will not take a share of the delivery costs from this new utility service, according to a communications rep at the company, and maintaining a Facebook Page will remain free for businesses. The company does not yet have plans to offer its newest feature internationally, and will focus on making it a “good experience for consumers and businesses” before expanding into other markets.
• Facebook embraces utility with food ordering and ticketing [TechCrunch]
• Facebook wants you to buy movie tickets and order pizza from its app [Recode]
• Why Yelp Should Fear Facebook's New User Review Platform [E]