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A Big Change To Facebook Reviews, 5-Star Reviews Are Now Recommendations

Last week we saw a big change to Facebook reviews as they moved to a new “recommendation” format and away from the standard 5-star rating. Here is the pop-up currently displayed on Facebook business pages about the change to ratings.

facebook reviews change

Reviews No, Recommendations Yes

Moving forward Facebook is all about recommendations.  Consumers wishing to review a business on Facebook are simply asked “Do You Recommend business name?” and answer by clicking “yes” or “no” (image below).  Facebook is still showing the previous 5-star ratings the business has and also features content letting you know about the change from reviews to recommendations.

yes or no recommend

Once you click yes or no, you are then prompted to share your reasons for why you do or don’t recommend this business.

facebook reviews

Rich Endorsements Added As Well – But Not For Everyone

In the case of restaurants, bars and coffee shops we are also seeing the recommendation process ask you to select “tags” that contributed to you recommending or not recommending that business. Facebook is calling this rich endorsements. Below are the YES tags for a Chick-fil-A location and the NO tags.

YES recommended tags, showing 10 of about 40 options.

facebook tags

NO recommended tags, showing 11 of about 16 options.

It would seem from Facebook’s announcement that  “tags” will expand into other industries as they didn’t note any limitations. So maybe it’s coming soon for other verticals.

When a restaurant recommendation is posted, it displays the “tags” along with it.  Here is my local wine bar that I left a recommendation for.

facebook recommendation

Still Says Reviews, But Recommendations Are Here

In the left side navigation of a Facebook business page, the tab to access this information is still called “Reviews”.  The newly launched Recommendations are located here now as well.

Below is an example page for Hero Plumbing of their Facebook Reviews page that shows both a YES recommendation and a NO recommendation.   You will also notice that Facebook has added two tabs for the page visitor to sort reviews by “Most Helpful” and “Most Recent”.  As of now, we don’t know what the criteria is for most helpful.

facebook reviews

Supporting Authenticity

An area that just about all review sites can improve on is review spam and fake reviews.  With this update, Facebook announce that authenticity is a priority and users and Facebook page owners will be able to easily report recommendations for the following reasons:

  • Recommendation not relevant
  • Unfair recommendation
  • Nudity
  • Violence
  • Harassment
  • Suicide or Self-injury
  • Spam
  • Drugs
  • Hate Speech

The process once the recommendation is reported is not clear, but any and all steps towards authentic customer content is a plus at this time.

Our Thoughts (more questions) On Facebook Recommendations

Just like any other big change from Facebook or Google, we are left with more questions than answers.  This switch from reviews to recommendations is no different.  Here are some of the things we’ll be watching and trying to understand more about in the coming weeks and months.

1- What will happen with the old reviews?  At some point all of the reviews will be out of date. If or how long they will stay are questions yet to answered.

2- Facebook uses the 5-star rating on many page aspects and as part of other business snippets in posts, will this go away entirely?

3- Will there be a numeric translation for recommendations?  Will a YES be a 5 and a NO be a 1?  Will they display that 92% of customers recommend this business?  I’d think they would want to simplify the overall experience data somehow.

4-  Will Facebook business pages lose their rich snippet stars in the Google search results?  I think this would decrease clicks and traffic for business pages and Facebook overall.

I could go on and on at this point, but let’s just see what the coming months bring.  The new format will prove challenging in many ways in the short term as the move from a 5-star rating format will throw off reporting on reviews for many services and companies.

This change has sent us in a few directions and we’re working on some solutions for reporting moving forward, stay tuned to see what we land on in the coming weeks.  We will also discuss it further on our August webinar that anyone can join.

About The Author

Aaron Weiche is the CEO of GatherUp, a customer feedback and online review platform. Aaron is a digital marketing veteran of over 20 years growing digital agencies in executive roles. Aaron helped found MnSearch, is a partner at Local University, speaks internationally on reviews, search marketing, web design and mobile.

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