A photo taken on May 16, 2012 shows a computer screen displaying the logo of social networking site Facebook reflected in a window before the Beijing skyline / Ed Jones/AFP/GettyImages

Alongside the existing reviews by friends or other people, professional reviewers’ opinions will now be shown on Facebook pages

Facebook will now start showing professional critics’ reviews of restaurants, alongside the traditional rankings and ravings of Facebook friends and strangers.

The site has long allowed normal people to rate restaurants and other businesses out of five as well as leaving short text reviews of their experience there. But now professional reviews from outlets including Conde Nast Traveler and New York Magazine will also have their reviews show up there, letting people see what professionals think.

The new updates appear to be aimed at making Facebook a more useful way of finding local businesses, akin to the search tools offered by Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google. Facebook has long offered that kind of search — and hosts pages for most businesses — but hasn’t made much of a dent in those bigger businesses.


"Since reviews are such an important part of helping people make informed decisions about what to do locally, we're excited to be incorporating a new way for people to use Facebook to find the best real-world experiences," a Facebook spokesperson told the Verge.

“Thousands” of restaurants are included in the pilot, the Verge reported, and it is likely to be widened out eventually. It will initially include articles from Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Eater, New York Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

The announcement follows Facebook's "Instant Articles", which allow companies to host their own stories within Facebook's news feed.