Facebook or Foodbook?

It is 11:53 p.m. on a Friday night and you are just craving some good old late night takeout. In this digital age, instead of calling in on the menu you have stuck on your fridge, a lot of people now will go to a trusty food delivery website or app to get their late night food fixes. There are dozens and dozens of websites and apps like Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless, etc., that allow you to order food from restaurants and have it delivered to you. This market is extremely saturated, but there is a new player that is stepping into the market named Facebook.

Facebook, on its quest to take over the world with its social network, has recently announced that it will release a new feature in its line of “Utility Features” that will allow a user to easily order food directly from a company’s Facebook page and have it delivered to you. Users can just visit any restaurant’s Facebook Page that uses Delivery.com or Slice and simply press “Start Order” from there. (I only can predict that Facebook will continue to open more partnerships and opportunities with other delivery services and restaurants if this becomes successful) Seems pretty simple and now it can allow users to easily order from places they already are fans of and have “Liked” on Facebook. But, why would Facebook decide to add this feature in its social network in what is already such a saturated market?

I believe the main reason Facebook is doing this is to keep users on Facebook longer. Before this feature, hungry users hungry people had to leave a restaurant’s Facebook page to order food on another website or app. That is no longer the case with this feature as users can place orders without ever leaving Facebook. Facebook’s main goal with this feature is to probably streamline various processes and user functionalities with a mentality of “why should a user use a bunch of different apps when you can just use Facebook to do everything?” Check if off the list for Facebook that users do not have to leave to order food now when they are hungry. They can easily find their utility to fill their stomachs and happiness of eating on Facebook now with a simple click of the “Start Order” button.

As discussed in class a few weeks back, Facebook wants to keep users on their platform for as long as possible. Facebook wants users using their social platform for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on Facebook, and only Facebook. Even for food now, you can stay on Facebook for as long as possible. This also allows for Facebook to steal some user traffic that is currently flowing through competitors like Google and Yelp when people are in search of order food. Users can now use Facebook to browse and order food whenever they want. Facebook wants to be the digital and social giant that does it all for the user. They are continually adding features and new aspects to their social platform every single day and this is just another one of them to lure us to continuing using Facebook. 

It will be interesting to see how this feature does in the coming months. Getting users to know about this feature and shifting their behavior to just order food straight off of Facebook will be one of the hardest hurdles to get past. How Facebook can capitalize on their network effects and features such as reviews and friend recommendations to push this food order feature will also be interesting. Do you think this new Facebook food ordering feature will catch on and succeed or do you think no one will use it and stick to going directly to websites like Grubhub?

Sources:

https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/10/getting-things-done-with-the-help-of-your-friends/

https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/19/facebook-utility/

10 comments

  1. Wow thanks for sharing your post this week. I honestly had no idea Facebook was joining the food order craze. I know for sure after living in Boston and New York that these apps on the iphone/android circuit are definitely flourishing and I admit that I too am one that use them from time to time. Something that I noticed as well was that apps and sites even like Yelp have joined this by introducing Yelp 24, which too can start orders. I should not be surprised that a superpower in the social media field such as Facebook is not interested in these orders. I wonder if it will be a success or people will abuse it by placing fake orders etc ? That is always a risk to take. I feel the point we made last class about tying credit cards into facebook accounts would be prominent here.

  2. finkbecca · ·

    I haven’t heard that this was something Facebook was working on, but I’m not surprised. It’s another great tool for collecting information on it’s users. Now Facebook will know your favorite restaurants and foods too! I’m sure that people will use it. It seems like an easy way to order and it’s convenient if you’re already on the site. You can also read reviews of take out places right on Facebook too, so it will streamline the process.

  3. Interesting stuff! This definitely isn’t an intuitive move for Facebook, but your speculation that the firm wants to keep people on the site for as long as possible makes a lot of sense. The fact that they are currently working with third party delivery services means that they probably aren’t taking a cut of delivery fees, but I wonder if they will start to do so, if the service catches on. Further, I wonder whether this will be a feature that they will try to integrate with their payment processing features. Regardless, I am going to stick to ordering through whoever keeps offering discounts.

  4. rohansuwarna · ·

    Great blog! Thank you actually for this because this makes my life a whole lot easier! Yes, this is certainly another way for Facebook to keep us all on their website for a munch longer period of time. What intrigues me is the way Facebook will finance this delivery system. Do they allow restaurants to pay them in order for restaurants to be able to have their ordering done on Facebook? And also, will Facebook continue their innovations with this product and become a delivery service and make profit off of the user? Certainly this is a new product with a lot of questions still to be answered. But, I really like Facebook’s thinking because this forces to users to increase their time spent on Facebook.

  5. wfbagleyiii · ·

    Interesting post! I think we’re already so oversaturated with food apps that it is a little surprising Facebook is jumping in the ring. I know that Uber did some beta testing in Chicago last year with Uber Eats – their delivery would be within 20 minutes from upscale restaurants. It never really took off though. Facebook I imagine wants to do this in part to remain relevant. I know their core demo keeps changing and this could potentially regain some of that group; aside from keeping users on 24 hours a day!

  6. michaelahoff · ·

    Facebook overtook periscope pretty quickly in the live streaming game and I see them doing the same in food too. That’s some great ad data to sell to food companies. Seamless and those other apps will probably be toast in a couple years.

  7. Austin Ellis · ·

    Thanks for sharing! I did not know Facebook had the capabilities to order food, but now that I do I will for sure be ordering from Facebook sometime soon. It really does fit well with their business model; to keep users active on Facebook as much as possible. The more you can do on the site, the more valuable their data and advertising space will be. Hopefully there are a few local places joining in on this.

  8. skuchma215 · ·

    Awesome article. Facebook is looking for new ways to grow and this is definitely one of them. I liked your point about Facebook adding this feature to keep users on Facebook longer. I wonder what other saturated markets they might enter to keep users on their website longer and more frequently. Maybe and booking feature for hotels and flights or the feature to buy tickets.

  9. Great blog! As an avid fan of ordering food online, I don’t know if I can trust ordering from FaceBook due to the fact that I still see it more as a social media networking platform rather than a food ordering/delivery platform. Also, with the amount of information FB already has on me, I’m not sure if I want to entrust it with my financial information too. Also, not all local food businesses have official FB accounts so it can be hard for consumers to have a lot of options to order from. I think with incentives such as coupons, FB could possibly attract people to its new feature, but with the saturated market for online food ordering, it could take some time for people to be truly taken by this feature.

  10. daniellep2153 · ·

    Awesome post! As someone who frequently uses online ordering apps, I will be sure to check out this new feature. Based on the different additions Facebook has incorperated to their platform, I think they are attempting to become more like WeChat. In China, consumer can use one app for everything. This obviously makes life more convenient for consumers to just use one platform instead of searching through three or four. With the addition of messenger, marketplace and now this food ordering system, it seems that Facebook is definitely on its way to becoming a one stop shop for its users. If done successfully, Facebook will ensure its’ future for the years to come.

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