Facebook Launches Site for Finding Local Services

Launched launched month with little fanfare, Facebook's new Services page is the latest from a tech company seeking a piece of the local business and service provider market. The Facebook site takes on Web-based services veterans such as Angie's List, TaskRabbit and Yelp.

Other companies to recently target the vastly diverse but widely dispersed local business market include Google and Amazon. This summer, Google began serving up information about pre-screened local businesses when users typed in queries for such phrases as "how to fix a clogged kitchen drain." And Amazon launched its new Home Services marketplace in March.

"We're in the early stages of testing a way for people to easily find more Pages for the services they're interested in," a Facebook spokesperson told us today.

Other Features Include Messenger and "M"

Facebook has introduced a number of new features aimed at making it easier for businesses to connect with customers via its site. Messenger Business, for example, seeks to be a one-stop communication destination for companies looking to better engage with their customers.

Announced earlier this year at Facebook's F8 developer conference, Messenger Business hasn't yet been made widely available, but is being used by a handful of specially selected companies.

The company is also reportedly testing a new assistant -- code-name "M" -- to work with its Messenger app. Part automated, part supported by on-call human concierges, the service -- Facebook's answer to Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana -- was rolled out as a limited pilot program in San Francisco in August.

Small Business Growth Expectations

Featuring the same standard page design as a "regular" Facebook Page, Facebook Services allows users to search for specific types of local businesses or service providers in their hometowns or other locations. Results are provided along with any reviews or ratings posted about those businesses...

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