Facebook adds food critic reviews to restaurant pages

27 May 2015

Facebook pages for restaurants in the US will soon include extracts from published reviews written by professional food critics.

Write-ups that have appeared in Bon AppetitNew York magazine, Eater, The San Francisco Chronicle and Conde Nast Traveler will all be part of the service and, most importantly, the restaurants themselves won’t have the ability to control what reviews, whether they be positive or negative, appear on their pages. This should help foodies decide whether or not an establishment is worth their time and dollars.

Facebook pages will only feature short summaries of the reviews but each will link to the full article on the original publishers’ sites. This move won’t prevent normal users from adding their own opinions and ratings to a restaurant’s page. The service is currently being tested and the social network has not revealed plans to take it beyond America.

“In order to give you access to even more helpful information about local places, we’re testing a new unit that will display critic reviews for certain restaurants in the US,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable. “Starting today, you’ll now see critic reviews in addition to reviews from friends and other people who have been there.”

Facebook appears determined to make significant strides towards bolstering the quality of readable content on the site. The company recently unveiled new service Instant Articles, which allows publications to post stories directly to Facebook, including interactive features like videos and maps.

The news outlets that have partnered with the California-based firm include:  The New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, NBC, Buzzfeed, Spiegel Online and Bild. “Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook,” said Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer.

Restaurant image via Shutterstock

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic