Facebook Star Rating System Mystery

By now, it is no surprise that Facebook has launched another feature without much explanation of how it works. They do this with EdgeRank updates and advertising options. Of course, privacy glitches features have been repeatedly changed without explanation as well.

Almost Nothing Added to Facebook Help

In this case, Facebook unveiled a new 5-star rating system for business Pages and at least two weeks have gone by since any details have emerged from the Menlo Park headquartered company. The star ratings appear under a business name on their Page and seem to be visible to all Facebook users.

This is what we know from the two questions Facebook has added to its help section:

  • For a business to be rated, it must add an address to its profile
  • Businesses can remove their ratings by removing their address from their profile
  • Comments can accompany ratings, but they are not required

Unanswered Star Rating Questions

Other than showing the rating to the public, Facebook has not shared what this means to the Page owner.

1) Does a score impact how a Page appears in search results?
2) Why not show how many ratings have been received?
3) Are mobile and desktop ratings scored equally?
4) Are any filters applied to “score” ratings? (i.e. – John Smith has 1,000 friends and reviews many businesses…will his rating be worth more than Jane Doe who has 100 friends and rates 1 business a year?)
5) How are false reviews flagged/responded to/deleted?

As we said, these important issues are not being addressed so the system is of little value to businesses today.

Another Voice for Customer Service

However, there are some noteworthy elements about the project in general. The Facebook star rating seems designed to infringe on the business models of companies like Yelp and FourSquare. By connecting a rating system to a business’ Facebook Page, it reduces the need of someone to leave and see how they rank on another site. It also mimics the Page/Places/Local integration currently being attempted by Google on their Google+ social media platform.

It is the integration that is key. Social media sites are continuing to explore new options to integrate themselves into a user’s daily life. It also puts another focus on customer service within a business and making that reportable to the public. More and more, businesses are being forced to provide better experiences because each customer has a voice.

Facebook alone has 1.1 billion voices.

The new rating system is yet another element that must be incorporated into a business’ reputation management and overall social media efforts. They must solicit reviews from current customers, monitor their star rating, and promote a four or five star score.